Stats - Why Lovren would be a defensive upgrade for Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers is keen on strengthening his defence and Southampton's Dejan Lovren has emerged as a primary target.

As Brendan Rodgers looks to tighten up a backline which leaked 50 league goals last season, Southampton’s Dejan Lovren has emerged as Liverpool’s top defensive target.

The 24-year-old’s impressive debut season in the Premier League at St Mary’s has led to talk of the Reds being among those interested in acquiring his signature.

The player himself has been commenting on the reports of a move to Anfield. “I follow the media and I saw that Liverpool is allegedly interested in me, but that is all that I know so far," as quoted by The Liverpool Echo.

Here’s five reasons Dejan Lovren he would be an upgrade on the Reds’ current defensive options.

1) Lovren won more tackles (48) than any Liverpool defender last season. Over an average of 90 minutes, the Frenchman tops the charts with 1.55 successful tackles. Mamadou Sakho comes second with an average of 1.39 tackles per match.

  TeamTackles WonTackles per matchApps
Dejan Lovren Southampton 48 1.55 31
Martin Skrtel Liverpool 36 1.00 36
Mamadou Sakho Liverpool 25 1.39 18
Daniel Agger Liverpool 20 1.00 20

2) Skrtel tops the club’s options for the most headed duels won last campaign, with 129, but Lovren would occupy second on 101. Over 90 minutes the Southampton man is more comparable to the Liverpool defender, averaging 3.26 successful duels, versus Skrtel’s 3.58.

  Successful Aerial DuelsAerial Duels per match
Martin Skrtel 129 3.58
Dejan Lovren 101 3.26
Mamadou Sakho 48 2.67
Daniel Agger 45 2.25

3) The Reds’ Slovakian centre-back continues to dominate when considering the number of clearances completed throughout the season, with an incredible 410 (The highest total in Europe), yet Lovren would have fallen into second place, with 239.

  TeamTotal Clearances
Martin Skrtel Liverpool 410
Dejan Lovren Southampton 239
Mamadou Sakho Liverpool 136
Daniel Agger Liverpool 114

4) The Croatian came top of the pile in terms of interceptions, showing his ability to read the game on 84 occasions. He also averaged a higher number of interceptions per match (2.71). Skrtel followed in second, with a total of 60, whilst averaging 1.67 per game.

  Interception WonInterceptions per match
Dejan Lovren 84 2.71
Martin Skrtel 60 1.67
Mamadou Sakho 27 1.50
Daniel Agger 21 1.05

5) Lovren made fewer defensive errors than any Liverpool defender last season, making just one mistake at the back; this didn't result in a shot at goal. Martin Skrtel proved most prone to poor decision-making, causing his side problems on  three separate occasions, he also scored four own goals.

  Errors Leading to Opposition ChanceTotal Own Goals
Daniel Agger 3 0
Mamadou Sakho 2 0
Martin Skrtel 2 4

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