Rave reviews have been thin on the ground for Liverpool’s summer influx, but none have garnered the unadulterated derision aimed at centre-half Dejan Lovren.
The Croat has so far made more defensive errors (four) than any other Premier League player according to statisticians squawka.com.
In 11 top-flight games for the Anfield outfit he has perpetrated four times more boo-boos than in the entire 31 such outings of his Southampton career.
As if to highlight the initial failure of the switch even further, the Saints are currently the only team left in the competition yet to commit a single rearguarding error.
Former Kop defensive hero Mark Lawrenson has described Lovren as “a bag of nerves”.
It seems that the dubious honour of being the sole ever-present member of Brendan Rodgers’ ever-changing back four has rather unfairly positioned him in the role of lightning conductor for the defensive weakness of an entire team.
After all, both Alberto Moreno and Martin Skrtel are present among the seven players who have made three errors on squawka’s metric this season.
Both have played two league games less than Lovren, suggesting they should be receiving at least as much grief for their parts in Liverpool’s dismantling.
The bottom line is that the Croat, never venerated for his Usain Bolt-like pace during his south-coast stint, is being hung out to dry.
Lovren has been entrusted with maintaining defensive chastity for a side that were renowned for their ‘we’ll score more than you’ mentality last term.
What’s more, in striving to lock the back door that hung off it’s hinges as the Reds shipped well over a goal a game in 2013/14, he has been robbed of the consistency of personnel alongside him that received wisdom suggests is vital.
As such the £20m man should at least be granted a stay of execution in the eyes of the faithful until he has had a chance to play in a settled defence for a few games.
Liverpool are 8/5 to keep a clean sheet at Crystal Palace in their next Premier League game.