Ahh, Dejan Lovren, you delightfully deluded wildman. Nearly half a decade into his Liverpool career, the Croatian centre-back has seemingly turned a corner, becoming known more for his outrageous confidence than his propensity towards overzealous rushes and game-breaking errors. Good times!
I am joking, but only half. Dejan Lovren’s standing in the wider football world has most definitely seen a major upswing in the past year, owing largely to his more composed disposition next to Virgil van Dijk in an increasingly impressive Liverpool backline, and his appearance in the Champions League and World Cup finals only a few months apart. At the same time, the former Southampton man’s proclivity for talking up his own abilities has shown no relationship — inverse or otherwise — with his actual performances on the pitch, instead rolling right along at the same pace as it always has.
Media and fans gave the 29-year old a reasonable amount of stick for demanding a spot in the consensus top defender conversation this summer, and while he is currently struggling to displace former Charlton starlet Joe Gomez at the heart of the Reds’ defense, Lovren has no intention of backing off his claim, unabashedly naming himself in the current top five defenders on the planet. Who else was in the mix, you might ask?
“Virgil [Van Dijk] I would say because we had our great season last season,” the Croatian told COPA90. “We reached the final of the Champions League.
”I like Varane. He deserves a lot of credit but he doesn’t get it as much as Ramos gets. I don’t agree with that. He’s definitely better than Ramos. He won the Champions League, he won the World Cup so he should be the best defender in the world.
”And I’ll always consider Thiago Silva. He’s really good and experienced. He’s not so tall but he jumps very high. He’s strong.
“If you look, Ramos has many more mistakes than me,” Lovren continued, delightfully spitting hot fiyah at football’s most unlikeable man. “But he’s at Real Madrid, he does a mistake, you win 5-1, 5-2, nobody sees the mistake.”
While this writer is impressed Dejan didn’t go full Dylan when given the opportunity, and any shots taken at the insufferable Ramos are exceptionally welcome, his claim that the Spaniard commits more errors than Lovren has no statistical backing, and it is doubtful many players would include the 29-year old in their own, subjective top fives.
Nonetheless, the Lovrenaissance continues, despite the subject’s protests one was ever needed, and Liverpool are undoubtedly happy to have the current iteration of Lovren in their ranks, rather than the one that couldn’t stop falling down when Yannick Bolasie ran at him back in 2015.
Virgil is a boss though. He’s right about that.