Two years on from signing for Liverpool, Dejan Lovren will be hoping he cracks it this season

Liverpool's Dejan Lovren scores their fourth goal against Borussia Dortmund

Lovren signed for £20 million in 2014 from Southampton.

Liverpool's Dejan Lovren during the press conference

Two years ago today, Liverpool completed their third signing of the summer from Southampton when they announced the capture of Dejan Lovren for £20 million. 

The Croatia international had spent just one season with the Saints and was brought in to to be the player to provide leadership to a defence that had leaked goals throughout the previous campaign.

Liverpool had just missed out on the Premier League title after scoring 101 goals in the Premier League alone, but their fragility at the back was there for all to see having conceded 50.

Liverpool's Dejan Lovren, Lucas Leiva and Danny Ings look dejected in the home loss to West Ham

It would not go according to plan, certainly in the first season as Liverpool struggled in the early stages of the league campaign. Lovren was often left exposed by the way the Reds set up, and errors were creeping into his game early on. A ball-playing centre-half was what he was dubbed as, but the reality was he was given too much to do for a centre-back.

When the Reds switched to a back three and he was handed a place back in the side he looked more at home. His duties were a lot more simple in terms of finding a player on the ball - and positional play off it - decision making was easier, and it seemed to suit the rest of the side as they managed to keep a run of clean sheets from January onward in the Premier League, with some revival to their league form.

After a poor display in the FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa, Lovren's season along with Liverpool's was summed up with a hopeless 40-yard effort that went high and wide as the Reds were dumped out of the competition, and he probably still has nightmares of Yannick Bolasie taking him apart at Anfield on their final home game of the season. 

Brendan Rodgers may have been a dead man walking, but he was sure that Lovren would be his man to start the following season, which saw the Reds keep three clean sheets before an Anfield horror show for Lovren against West Ham, who inexplicably lost the ball when it seemed easier to clear his lines.

Lovren was taken out of the firing line soon after and Rodgers was sacked and replaced by Jurgen Klopp. But it has been under Klopp when Liverpool have seen why the defender was so highly rated. 

Liverpool's Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho celebrate after Borussia Dortmund

He was gradually reintroduced to the side and played on the right side in the centre-back role, and was not partnered as much with the error prone Martin Skrtel, and seemed to develop a bond with Mamadou Sakho.

He was afforded more protection in the middle of the park, his decision making on the ball was made easier; he was allowed to primarily concentrate on defending, even if his finest moment since came at the other end of the field as he capped a remarkable night at Anfield scoring the winner against Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League, a competition where he impressed for the large part of last season.

Liverpool's Dejan Lovren scores their fourth goal against Borussia Dortmund

In the season ahead, it looks as if he will be returning to the left side of the defence alongside Joel Matip. It will be interesting to see if his progress is hampered by a new partner at the back as it seems to be a partnership that is strong on aerial ability. 

Having captained the side several times during pre-season so far, it might finally be the time when Lovren becomes the leader in the side that he was initially bought to be. But his task is simpler under Klopp, and Liverpool will be hoping his upward trajectory continues. 

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