Out of despair comes opportunity - Dejan Lovren must take his to save Liverpool career

Dejan Lovren

With Mamadou Sakho sidelined through injury, Dejan Lovren is likely to get a prolonged run in the side over a busy period.

Liverpool suffered yet another injury blow at the weekend when Mamadou Sakho limped off shortly before half-time during the defeat to Crystal Palace.

Reports, including one from Sky Sports, have suggested that Liverpool are going to be without their imposing French defender for around eight weeks, meaning an opportunity has arisen for Dejan Lovren to show what he can for the Reds in their hour of need.

Lovren's Liverpool career has never really got going since his big-money move from Southampton in the summer of last year. 

There have been times when his errors have proved costly for Liverpool, and he has been found wanting against numerous opponents - most notably this season when he fell over in the build-up to West Ham United's second goal as the Hammers won for the first time at Anfield since 1963, and in both meetings with Crystal Palace last season when Yannick Bolasie gave him a torrid time. They are just two specific examples, but there are others.

Lovren has had two opportunities aside from his substitute appearance on Sunday against Palace under Klopp - in the League Cup against Bournemouth and in the Europa League against Rubin Kazan. On both occasions it's hard to say he did anything wrong, and Liverpool came away with clean sheets in both games. 

Now it's a big chance to step up, and he has to impress. Liverpool are short on defensive options without Sakho at the moment, with youngster Joe Gomez ruled out for the season with an ACL injury and Kolo Toure in the autumn of his career, if he isn't causing his own injuries like he did in the Bournemouth cup tie. Basically, Lovren has a free run of things for eight weeks.

This so happens to be the time when managers across the country are probably thinking ahead to the January transfer window. Liverpool's scarcity in resources at the back - unless Klopp looks to the under-21 team, which is certainly a possibility - means that Lovren is likely to get a free run at trying to impress at the heart of the Liverpool defence. 

If he were to get dropped in that time for say, a youngster, then one would feel the writing would be on the wall as far as his time at Anfield is concerned. Signing a centre-back could be regarded as common sense, but where the Croatia international would feature in the pecking order would be telling.

It would be wrong to say Lovren doesn't have his attributes. He was impressive on the opening day against Stoke City - certainly when it came to the physical and aerial battles, he seemed to thrive. It's decision making that has to improve, and that will be closely scrutinised in the coming weeks, and he's not going to get a bigger test than first up against league leaders Manchester City in under two weeks' time. 

No unforced errors, no fancy play that goes wrong. If he just does the basics and wins his battles, then he's already done half the job.

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