Croatian defender Dejan Lovren has been handed the number six shirt for his first season at Anfield. But more importantly boss Brendan Rodgers has handed the 20 million GBP defender the job of fixing the reds leaky defence.
Despite scoring more than 100 goals last term it was what happened at the other end that many people think cost us the title and Rodgers feels that Lovren’s leadership skills on the pitch is what’s needed to fix up that particular problem.
“I think he’s a really commanding centre-half,” said Rodgers, on the official club website. “I’ve said since we lost Jamie Carragher that we needed that leadership. He’s a player that gives us that. He’s very strong, very commanding, but he can play. I’ve been really impressed with him.”
An organizer at the back is definitely something that has been missing from the reds side. As good as I feel Agger and Skrtel are something does seem to get lost in translation at times. Lets hope the gaffer is right about his new man and that it is seen as money well spent this time next season.
DEJAN LOVREN”S FIRST INTERVIEW AS A LIVERPOOL PLAYER COURTESY OF www.liverpoolfc.com
Dejan Lovren – Liverpool player. How does that sound? It sounds amazing and it’s a dream come true. I’m happy and glad to be here; I’m proud and can’t wait to start.
What are you most looking forward to about playing for Liverpool? I’m most looking forward to Anfield, of course. I played there last season in front of the crowd singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. That is something very special for every player, every sportsman and every fan. I can’t wait to get started.
What do you know about the club and its history? I know we have millions and millions of supporters – Liverpool is more than a club.
You spent one season with Southampton – how do you reflect on that year at St Mary’s? It was just one season and it was really short, but we had a great season with the team and it was amazing to play at St Mary’s.It was the first time I had played in England and I was proud to play for Southampton. I’ll take good memories from my time there.
When you meet up with your new teammates, there will be a couple of familiar faces in Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana – that must be a great feeling for you? Yes, of course, but it’s not just Rickie or Adam, I also want to meet the other lads and I can’t wait to start with them. They are top players and top lads. Of course I know Adam and Rickie a lot better from last season – they are great players and they deserve to be here.
What do you think Rickie brings to this Liverpool team? He has a lot of experience, has played a lot of games in the Premier League and the Championship also. Rickie scored a lot of important goals last season and I learned a lot of things from him. He was like a leader for us.
What can you tell us about Lallana? I really enjoyed playing with Adam last season – it was amazing. He was the main player, playing all of the games. Like Rickie, he is a great leader, even though he is only 26. Now the dream has come true and we will get the chance to play together.
You scored just twice for Southampton, one of them the winner against Liverpool at Anfield last season. What did that moment mean to you? It was an amazing moment for me because before and after the game I sensed the feeling and atmosphere around the stadium. I will never forget the victory we achieved and especially getting the goal. After the game, I said to myself: “One day I hope I’ll be able to play here for Liverpool.”
Apart from the goal, what else do you remember about playing at Anfield that day? Jose Fonte, my defensive partner at Southampton, told me to listen to ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ before the first whistle and to enjoy the moment. It was really amazing – I had chills on my arms and it’s something that I will never forget. I want to listen to that song every other weekend.
What have you made of Brendan Rodgers’ plans for Liverpool, in this coming season and beyond? We have spoken a little bit. Liverpool have already bought five players, so you can see the club has big ambitions to carry on and not stop here. Of course, I want to be part of the club’s ambitions.
What have you made of Liverpool’s playing style under the manager? I like his style, it’s amazing and quite similar to Southampton. Their games last year were great, particularly the win at St Mary’s. Liverpool play amazing football so I can’t wait to join up with the team. It is a privilege to be here.
For anyone who may not have seen you play, how would you describe yourself as a footballer? I’m a defender but I don’t really like to talk about my qualities, as I want to show them on the pitch. The fans will know from the first minute that I’m a player that will give 100 per cent on the pitch, who will really give everything for the lads.
This summer you played in your first World Cup with Croatia – what positives did you take from the experience? It was an amazing experience for me as it was the first time I have been to the World Cup. I will never forget the opening game against Brazil; I don’t know how many billion people were watching! But I’m obviously disappointed that we were eliminated after three games. That said, I think we have a quality team and quality players, so hopefully in the future we will do better.
Back to here and now with Liverpool, what are your plans next? Are you going to join your new teammates in the USA? Yes, hopefully my Visa will be completed on Monday, so I can travel on Tuesday. It’s important for every player that you are with the team in pre-season.
Finally, what is your message to Liverpool fans? As I said, I’m a player that will give 100 per cent and I want to show that to the supporters because they deserve to see players who give 100 per cent. I know it is going to be something special to play in front of the fans at Anfield and I can’t wait.