For nearly a year and a half, Dejan Lovren's £20 million price tag was used by Liverpool supporters as a stick to beat him over the head with. He infuriated Southampton fans with his infamous quote about his head being in Liverpool, and he upset Liverpool supporters by inadvertently driving out the Danish dynamite that is Daniel Agger.
Despite an impressive first performance for Liverpool--a 4-0 win against Jürgen Klopp's Dortmund side in a friendly--Lovren's form dipped and never recovered during the rest of Brendan Rodgers' tenure.
When Klopp arrived, Lovren was not the only player to benefit, but his turn around in form as been the most dramatic. Yesterday, Kloppo spoke about his improvement in his pre-match presser:
What can I say about Dejan Lovren? I heard about before I came here, and I saw in his eyes when I came here, that he was not in the best situation.
But for him, it was really good because I had only one game in mind - it was the game for Liverpool against Borussia Dortmund in a friendly. I think it was his first game for Liverpool and he was outstanding in it, so I was pretty positive and for sure, that helped him.
Sometimes for players, that's the good thing with a complete change - that you can start really new, and that's what he did. Now everybody can see what he is capable of. Dejan is in a good way.
That Lovren has gone from an over-priced liability to arguably our best center back speaks volumes to the abilities of both the player and manager.
The defender will have to be at his best once again as he returns, head and all, to a hostile Southampton crowd tomorrow.