Nine clearances and 11 battles won but Liverpool's Dejan Lovren still disappoints

Liverpool's Dejan Lovren had some fine individual statistics against Manchester United but is he really the answer for the Reds?

When Liverpool signed Dejan Lovren from Southampton for a reported £20million it looked like a fine piece of business by the Reds.

The Croatian had impressed at St Mary's and appeared to be the solid defensive reinforcement Brendan Rodgers' side desperately needed; but almost halfway through his first season at Anfield things have not gone according to plan.

Lovren has been unable to replicate his previous form with many calling for Kolo Toure to replace the 25-year-old on a regular basis after the Ivorian's fine display against Real Madrid last month.

But Lovren was back in the heart of Liverpool's defence when they faced Manchester United on Sunday, with Louis van Gaal's side ultimately winning 3-0.

Some supporters have issues with statistics because in essence they can paint a very different picture from the one seen on the pitch, and so it proves when you consider Lovren's numbers from the weekend.

Liverpool's summer signing made nine effective clearances and he also won seven of the nine ground duels he contested and all four of the aerial battles.

    Passing AccuracyOutfield BlocksEffective ClearancesInterceptions WonDuels LostDuels WonAerials LostAerials WonMins Played
Martin Skrtel     94% 0 7 1 2 3 1 2 90
Dejan Lovren     80% 0 9 1 2 7 0 4 90

As you can see above, his figures were better than his defensive partner Martin Skrtel's, and yet it is clear for all to see that Lovren is not currently the answer to Liverpool's problems.

In time he may be, but for now Liverpool would be wise to play Toure whenever possible, taking Lovren out of a firing-line that shows no signs of letting up.

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