After an almost laughably bad debut season under Brendan Rodgers, questions were raised over whether there would ever be a place for Lovren within the first team. Bought for his authority and experience at the back after a stellar tenure at Southampton, he showed no signs of his former self with a string of error-prone performances adding to an already shaky back line.
The image of Rodgers painfully watching on as Lovren face planted into the ground while Yannick Bolasie broke away will always live long in the memory – a sight which has become increasingly common for the Croatian. In that sense, he perfectly optimises Liverpool’s struggles against their bogey-team Palace.
Despite Lovren’s latest hiccup against The Eagles, contract negotiations between the club and player reached a successful conclusion on Friday afternoon as he became the latest player to commit his long-term future to The Reds. The 27-year-old’s new deal has raised several eyebrows, especially with a reported wage of £100,000, but was Jurgen Klopp right to renew his deal?
Lovren has experienced somewhat of a resurgence since Klopp took up the reigns at Liverpool. Last season, having been told to focus on the basics and keep things simple, he was far more recognisable to the powerful and focused centre-half we had so often seen at Southampton. He knew his limits and with that ensured a reduction in costly errors and poor decision making.
Scoring the winner against Borussia Dortmund earmarked just how far Lovren had come since his first season on Merseyside. It was an acute turning point for the Croatian, who became a much more accepted member of the team by the fans.
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