Caulker v Lovren - How do the Liverpool targets match up?

With both players said to be on Brendan Rodger’s wish-list, how do Caulker and Lovren fair against eachother?

Cardiff City’s Stevevn Caulker and Southampton’s Dejan Lovren are two centre-backs reportedly on Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers’ transfer wish-list this summer.

Defensive frailty cost Liverpool their first title in 24 years last season, as their back line could not balance out the supremely prolific goal-scoring seasons of Luis Suarez and Daniel Strurridge.

Martin Strtel, Daniel Agger, Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho were all error prone last season, with manager Rodgers admitting he must tighten up at the back this summer.

Cardiff’s Caulker was their player of the season aside of goalkeeper David Marshall, having stared in a team that conceded 74 goals across a miserable campaign. Caulker was on the fringes of the England set-up throughout the season, but recovery to Everton’s Phil Jagielka from injury meant the 22-year-old missed out on World Cup selection plans.

Dejan Lovren at Southampton enjoyed a very different season in the Premier League as his side punched well above their weight to secure an eighth place finish. Lovren, along with the likes of Adam Lallana, Ricky Lambert, Jay Rodriguez and Luke Shaw all lit up the league to become the top-flight’s surprise package. Along with his Saints colleagues, Lovren is now expected to be a target in the transfer window, with Liverpool eyeing his services.

So how do Caulker and Lovren match up? Here are the crucial statistics that may ensure one of them gets the move to Anfield.

Caulker was playing in a Cardiff team that conceded 74 goals, but shone in the Premier League having also scored five of his own, with Lovren bagging two. Caulker also made more blocks than the Croatian this season, 59 to Lovren’s 9.

But the majority of the stats do weigh up in Lovren’s favour. He was part of a Southampton side who conceded half on the goals Cardiff did with 37. Lovren also won 48 tackles to Caulker’s 31, and 84 interceptions to the Englishman’s 47.

Caulker made 327 clearances last season, with Lovren making 239, perhaps a stat that tells more of the pressure on each of their clubs defensive duties.

In truth, there’s not much in it, Liverpool would certainly benefit from claiming both men’s signatures, something that may be worth doing with their ages at just 22 and 24. If only one could make the transfer though, it would have to be Dejan Lovren who got the nod.

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