After a season where Liverpool excelled defensively, conceding the least amount of goals in the Premier League, one of their defenders is being linked away.
The Croatian defender has been part of the Liverpool furniture for the good part of five years after joining from Southampton for a reported fee of £20 million via BBC Sport, during which the centre-back has suffered criticism from pundits, such as Graeme Souness via the Daily Star. Indeed, with the introduction of Van Dijk as well as Joel Matip and Joe Gomez to the squad over the years, the now 29-year-old has a lot to compete with.
Lovren, who called himself one of the world’s best defenders following Croatia’s run to the 2018 World Cup final via the Guardian, could be set to leave Merseyside this summer as Italian journalist Nicolo Schira claims via the Daily Star that the centre-back is being courted by AC Milan and that the player’s agent is in talks with the Italian giants.
With AC Milan enduring one of the toughest periods in the club’s recent history after a season where the Rossoneri missed out on Champions League football by a single point as well as being banned from next season’s Europa League for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations, change is needed at the historic side, and Lovren could be a player to add defensive security to the squad.
Comparing Lovren’s last full season at Liverpool, 2017/18, with Milan’s two starting centre-backs last season in Alessio Romagnoli and Mateo Musacchio with stats from WhoScored, the Croatian fairs well.
Lovren averaged more interceptions per 90 than both Milan defenders at 1.3 per game as well as committing fewer fouls at 0.5 per game. The Liverpool defender also won more offsides than the Serie A centre-backs at 0.9 per match, as well as making more clearances than Musacchio at 4.9 per game to the Argentine’s 3.8.
With Jurgen Klopp favouring Van Dijk partnered alongside Matip or Gomez in the Liverpool defence towards the end of the season, a move this summer could be the right course of action for Lovren, who could help a Milan side in a slump. If he’s out of the team at Liverpool, perhaps a move to Italy could be a good avenue to explore.
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