“Roller coaster” is seemingly the perpetual state of Dejan Lovren’s perceived quality. Having gone from half of a highly-rated Southampton CB pairing — a half Liverpool were willing to shell out £20m for in 2014 — to a headless spartan who couldn’t stop getting embarrassed by Yannick Bolasie, the Croatian 29-year old has since experienced a resurgence in recent years.
Dubbed the Lovrenaissance by *extremely* clever people, the gradual improvement in the former Lyon defender’s ability and fortunes culminated with participation in the finals of both the Champions League and World Cup less than two months apart. Granted, he didn’t win either match, starring for the underdog in both competitions, but that sort of double-header is not the kind of thing bad footballers get to be part of.
Given his wildly undulating career trajectory, though, it couldn’t possibly last, and after suffering an abdominal injury in the summer, Lovren discovered upon his return to Anfield that he had been usurped by the immensely impressive Joe Gomez. A start against Manchester City notwithstanding — shunting Gomez to right-back — it seems unthinkable that Jürgen Klopp will upset his hugely successful centre-half pairing any time soon.
Not to worry, though, as Barcelona — home of compatriot Ivan Rakitić — are in need of backup to Gerard Pique and the injured Samuel Umtiti, and are reportedly considering Lovren as a potential solution this January. No price has been suggested, and with Lovren having signed a £20m 4-year deal last spring, there is little incentive for the Reds to sell.
Nonetheless, it’s not unthinkable that — given a tasty enough transfer sum and a replacement lined up — Liverpool would be willing to part ways with their 3rd choice centre-back, nor that the defender would find the lure of Barcelona irresistible. Likely? Nah. Advisable? Probably not. But well within the realms of possibility.