Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has had to watch patiently as Martin Skrtel, Emre Can and Mamadou Sakho formed a mightily impressive back-line in recent times. But with the Frenchman unavailable for Sunday’s match against Southampton, the Croatian international was given another chance to impress.
Prior to the weekend Lovren had made 25 appearances for Liverpool, but his performances had come in for plenty of criticism. And when Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers settled on a new system with some new faces it appeared Lovren would get few chances to impress between now and May.
So how did the 25-year-old do in comparison with Skrtel and Can on Sunday?
As you can see from the statistics below, Liverpool’s £25million signing from St Mary’s was considerably better than Can in some key areas, including effective clearances, aerial battles and interceptions. However he fell short when it came to passing accuracy, successfully completing only 66 per cent of his efforts.
|Outfield Blocks||Effective Clearances||Effective Headed Clearances||Duels Won||Aerials Won||Interceptions Won||Passing Accuracy||Mins Played|
It could be argued that in time Liverpool's manager will be hoping Lovren can fit effectively alongside Skrtel and Sakho, enabling Can to be pushed further forward once Steven Gerrard's time at Anfield is complete.
But if that is the case, Lovren still has plenty of work to do, while it could be argued that moving Can out of a position where he has excelled will have a negative effect on performances.
Only time will tell, but Skrtel's latest performance for Liverpool showed up Lovren, and considering how much he cost, Rodgers will be desperate for that to change in due course.