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Rodgers Has Faith in Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren's difficult start to life at Liverpool eventually forced Brendan Rodgers to drop the £20 million summer signing. However, the Antrim man firmly believes all is not lost for the Croatian international.

Warm on the bench.
Warm on the bench.
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Dejan Lovren's move to Liverpool has had a disastrous start with a number of worryingly poor and rickety performances in an area of need. Positioning, concentration, leadership, and plain sensible defending seem absent from a player who drew the highest praise from defensive connoisseurs Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville last season. Brendan Rodgers persisted with the struggling high-profile signing throughout the player's adjustment to life at Liverpool but never saw the significant improvement he hoped for. It may have taken a few more games than it should have, but Dejan Lovren was finally dropped for the benefit of both team and player. Manager too.

It's been three matches since Lovren has failed to start a game for Liverpool, and that's coincided with Lucas Leiva's return to the starting line-up along with captain Steven Gerrard pushed further forward in a more comfortable and natural attacking role. While it will be interesting to see how Lovren fares with Lucas' protection, Kolo Touré has provided the experience and leadership necessary for a club attempting to secure results. Two wins and a draw makes it difficult for Rodgers to dismantle the Touré-Skrtel partnership ahead of Sunderland's trip to Anfield.

What Liverpool need is a consistent pairing at the defensive core to build understanding between the players in terms of reactions under pressure, style, tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses. The current partnership should survive the return of Mamadou Sakho from injury and the training performances of Dejan Lovren. Rodgers stressed that Lovren's reaction to being dropped was professional, and feels confident about the player's future prospects will turn out just as Skrtel's did when he was left out of the team.

Dejan has been brilliant. He has taken it like a man. He is working hard in training. He knows he will get an opportunity and hopefully he can then take it. Picking on form has always been the case and all the players understand that. If you look at Martin Skrtel as an example, he didn't play so much for me during my first year here. But we spent a lot of time that season talking about the strengths he had in his game and the areas where he needed to improve. After that period, once he got into the team, he was absolutely fantastic. He has been a real rock for us. I am sure that Dejan will be exactly the same. Sometimes you need that little bit of time out of the team. I have absolutely no doubt that he will be a very good player for us.

Lovren will probably find his way back into the side this month, at least on a temporary basis, as December poses it's customary challenges due to a congested schedule due to workload and seasonal duress. Until then, he should continue being a male member of society, copy Martin Skrtel, and play a lot better whenever he does appear in the side. There's also the issue of the club's two most expensive defenders of all-time sitting on the bench or looking cool in the stands. At this stage, while it's good to see that the manager has faith in his big signing, Liverpool need to pick up points.

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