Southampton star and Liverpool heartthrob Dejan Lovren has informed the Saints of his desire to leave St Mary’s this summer, according to the Daily Mail.
Anfield looks like a very feasible destination for the Croat, whose nation look far too long to get a least a point out of Brazil in the opening game of the World Cup at 5/2.
The desire for Champions League football is understood to be his motivation and it’s a carrot Liverpool can offer, with the Merseysiders 22/1 to land old big ears in 2014/15.
Yet, Brendan Rodgers’ pantry is already crammed with a catering-sized selection of central-defenders, so is the acquisition of yet another justified?
With the aid of friendly neighbourhood statisticians squawka.com, we’ve run the rule over Lovren’s 2013/14 in comparison to Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Agger and Kolo Toure.
Be excited Liverpool fans, it seems he rates a significant upgrade in many departments …
Games – Lovren 31, Skrtel 36, Sakho 18, Agger 20, Toure 20
Tackles won – Lovren 48, Skrtel 36, Sakho 25, Agger 20, Toure 28
Interceptions – Lovren 84, Skrtel 61, Sakho 27, Agger 21, Toure 15
Clearances – Lovren 250, Skrtel 423, Sakho 118, Agger 137, Toure 153
Defensive errors – Lovren 1, Skrtel 4, Sakho2, Agger 3, Toure 3
Successful passes – Lovren 1295, Skrtel 1552, Sakho 836, Agger 686, Toure 605
The want-away Southampton man won the day in four of the six categories above, while only Skrtel outshone him on the remainder, enjoying the finest season of his career in the process.
Ever cogniscent of the need to present a fair view, there were some areas in which, on balance, the performances of the incumbent reaguarders were superior.
Pass completion percentage – Lovren 82, Skrtel 91, Sakho 92, Agger 89, Toure 86
Aerial duals won percentage – Lovren 60.12, Skrtel 69.06, Sakho 55.42, Agger 64.29, Toure 50