Proof that Liverpool's under-fire defender is actually an upgrade in four key areas

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has come in for plenty of criticism this season, but he is actually an improvement on Daniel Agger in many areas.

Liverpool embarked on a summer spending spree, as Brendan Rodgers looked to improve the side which finished in second place in the Premier League table last season. Luis Suarez departed, but Rodgers splashed out to bring Javi Manquillo, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno, Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic, Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert to Anfield.

However, so far, he's seen few results from his outlay as the Reds have already lost to Manchester City, Aston Villa and West Ham, whilst their Champions League campaign has been shaky at best after a narrow win over the previously unheard of Ludogorets Razgrad and a defeat away at Swiss side Basel.

One of the biggest problems from last season was their leaky defence, with the stunning 3-3 capitulation at Crystal Palace ultimately costing them the title. Rodgers then went out and brought in Atletico Madrid full back Manquillo, Southampton centre back Lovren and Sevilla full back Moreno - though one of them is already getting criticism from a number of fans.

Croatian defender Lovren joined for around £20m after an impressive season with the Saints, but has endured a tough start to life on Merseyside, with some fans pleading with Rodgers to start Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho together - yet ultimately, Rodgers chose to use Lovren over Danish international Daniel Agger.

With that in mind, here are the stats comparing Lovren and Agger in a number of categories.

  PositionTeamBlock per gameTackles per gameClearances per gameHeaded Clearances per gameInterceptions per game
Daniel Agger DF Liverpool 0.4 1 5.7 3.3 1.05
Dejan Lovren DF Liverpool 0.29 1.71 9.29 6 1.86

The stats show that Lovren has been better per-game than Agger in four key categories - tackles, interceptions, total clearances and headed clearances. At the end of the day, Liverpool need to upgrade their defence and whilst he may not have lived up to his price tag just yet, Lovren has in fact been better than Agger in a number of areas - and ultimately has much more potential than now-Brondby defender Agger.

It will take time for this Liverpool team to gel given the amount of new arrivals, and Lovren - a superb defender for Southampton last season - didn't come a poor centre back overnight. He simply needs time to adjust to life under Rodgers at Anfield.

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