Despite successfully completing his move to Liverpool over the weekend, Dejan Lovren will not be joining the pre-season tour in America after he failed to secure a work visa in time. He likely would not have been in contention to play tonight, but he will now not be able to train with his new teammates and a debut against Milan on the 2nd of August is out of the question.
"Unfortunately I could not get a visa straight away," Lovren explained when asked about the situation by Croatian paper Sportske Novosti. "I cannot join my new teammates in the US and am saddened by that. Of course it's not good I have not been able to join the team's preparations in the US, but I will do plenty of work here until they return from the tour."
The Red's new centre half, who arrived from Southampton for a base fee believed to be around £16M rising to £20M with all add-ons, will instead spend time training with Liverpool's U21 side. When the main squad return to England next week he will belatedly join his new teammates and be available to play in the club's final pre-season friendly against Dortmund.
It remains uncertain where Brendan Rodgers sees Lovren fitting in. For the fee one would expect him to start, but Martin Skrtel—the man most see as likely to make way—has been named vice captain for the pre-season tour, something that suggests he's in Rodgers' plans. Now, fans hoping for even a hint at an answer will have to wait a little while longer.