HEAD-TO-HEAD: Tottenham's 20-year-old defender v Liverpool's £20m man

Dier V Lovren

Eric Dier and Dejan Lovren came face to face on Sunday - but who has had the better season so far?

Dier V Lovren

Eric Dier and Dejan Lovren came face to face on Sunday.

One man was brought to Tottenham Hotspur for just £4 million - and at just 20-years-old - and another was brought to Liverpool for £20 million five years his senior.

And, three games into the Premier League season, the duo have significantly impressed.

Dier has already scored twice for Spurs and performed ably at the back. Lovren, meanwhile, has added authority to the Reds' back line, although mistakes crept into his game at Manchester City.

As Opta stats (above) show, though, it is Lovren that has enjoyed a finer start to the season.

It is perhaps understandable, considering his prior experience, with the 25-year-old winning more aerial duels, making more accurate passes, far more effective clearances and winning more interceptions.

Dier has, at least, won more tackles - and the fact that he has scored twice, winning Spurs all three points with his goal during their first match, does not do him any disservice.

And even more interesting is that, despite Sunday's 3-0 scoreline, it was an even contest between Dier and Lovren on the day in north London.

  TeamPosTackles WonInterceptions WonEffective ClearancesAerial Duels WonAccurate PassesAppsMins
Eric Dier Spurs DF 3 0 1 4 45 1 90
Dejan Lovren Liverpool DF 3 2 13 2 27 1 90

Indeed, both won as many tackles as each other, while Lovren won two more interceptions and made 12 more clearances.

The 20-year-old Spurs defender fared better in the air, however, and also completed almost double the amount of passes. Crucially, Dier did give a penalty away for Liverpool's second goal, though it wasn't through a reckless challenge, just a careless - and slight - tug of Joe Allen's shirt.

It's clear, then, that these defenders are both full of quality. Dier has been exceptional considering his age, while Croatian Lovren could be the man to solve Liverpool's defensive problems.

If there has been a winner so far, statistically it is Lovren. But the Tottenham man is hot on his heels - and imagine just how good he could be at 25?

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