Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren is set to face his second career-defining fixture in a matter of months this Sunday when Croatia pit their wits against France for the greatest prize in world football.
After experiencing a heartbreak defeat against Real Madrid in the final of the Champions League in May, Lovren will have a second chance to claim a piece of silverware this weekend. Lovren has been widely criticised by fans and pundits alike for his performances for Liverpool in recent years, but his progress at both club and international level this season has forced plenty of his harshest critics to backtrack.
The arrival of Virgil Van Dijk has certainly enabled Lovren to reach the pinnacle of his game, but the form he has demonstrated alongside Domagoj Vida at international level proves that Van Dijk cannot justifiably accept all the credit for his form at Liverpool since the turn of the year.
With Vida alongside Lovren, Croatia have been a solid defensive unit throughout the tournament, and their formidable partnership at centre-back prevented England from having a single shot on target from open play in their semi-final clash.
And if reports from Turkey are to be believed, it seems that Liverpool have taken note of Lovren’s success alongside Vida and are planning on bringing the partnership to Anfield next season.
According to Turkish media outlet Fanatik, Liverpool have made an improved 20 million euro (£17.5 million) offer to Besiktas in order to acquire Vida’s services.
Whilst Liverpool’s interest is certainly understandable, it’s one which should be abandoned in the near future as history has taught us that basing signings on World Cup performances is an incredibly risky strategy to adopt in the transfer market.
Playing alongside players from your own country within a knockout competition represents an entirely different prospect to playing with a multi-national Premier League squad for the entirety of a 38-fixture season, so it’s no wonder that World Cup signings are notoriously advised against.
In the case of Vida, his performances alongside Lovren have certainly been impressive and a pivotal component to Croatia’s success, but individually he is a level below his centre-back partner.
Having spent the majority of his career in Ukraine before moving to Turkey in January, Vida is lacking the experience and the quality to add the quality Liverpool need to compete for silverware next season and, with that in mind, Klopp should abandon his pursuit of the World Cup finalist.
Liverpool fans – thoughts? Let us know below!