Dejan Lovren is obviously dividing opinion at the moment. Actually, maybe not “dividing opinion” per se, as that would imply that there exists a statistically-significant subsection of the Liverpool fanbase that is still advocating for his continued inclusion in the side. Which—fairly or unfairly—there clearly is not.
After a personal horror show and humiliating substitution in the 4- 1 Tottenham appeared on the surface to sound the death knell on his ignominious Liverpool career, there was no small surprise at the Croatian’s inclusion the following weekend’s team sheet against Huddersfield Town. Thankfully however, we never got to find out how Anfield was set to react at the object of their ire retaining his place as the defender pulled up with an injury minutes before kick off.
Jürgen Klopp provided insight into what happened in the post-match press conference, “It was the last pass,” the Liverpool manager explained. “Maybe you saw it. Joel and Dejan were exchanging passes and then in the last one, he felt something in the muscle.”
“I don’t know exactly, we had no time – the only question I asked in the treatment room was, ‘Yes or no?’ and I got a no and then we changed. It is his thigh.”
The visitors were far from threatening going forward meaning that Lovren possibly, potentially might have been able to make it through the match in his surely tenuous mental state without a major blunder; but one can only imagine the backlash were the 28-year-old to have started and been culpable for a goal.
No Liverpool fan could ever condone wishing injury on anyone, talk less of a Red player. However, whether this is a knock or a “knock,” it is probably well and good that the circumstances have conspired to remove the defender out of the line of fire, at least now while the flames of criticism blaze brightest.
Because unless Klopp suddenly gets uncharacteristically creative with his formations, and until—as has been noted elsewhere in TLO—the likes of Nathanial Clyne returns, Dejan Lovren is our best hope for the next two months of navigating the brutal holiday schedule, winning the Champions League group stage and salvaging a stuttering Premier League campaign (ugh, that sentence hurt just to write). Oh what a time to be a fan.