Jamie Carragher: Liverpool will see best of Dejan Lovren next season
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher insists Dejan Lovren is not a bad player
Jamie Carragher says Liverpool won’t see the best of Dejan Lovren until next season.
The Croatia international was touted as a long-term successor for Carragher after Liverpool signed the centre-half in a £20m deal from Southampton in the summer transfer window.
However, Lovren has fallen down the pecking order at Anfield after a particularly errant performance in a 3-0 defeat by bitter rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford in December.
But Champions League winner Carragher is adamant that Lovren is not a bad player and is starting to improve at the 18-time English champions.
“Lovren has not set the world alight. He came in for a big fee, and he has not quite done yet what he was brought to the club to do,” Carragher told Sky Sports.
“You look at someone like [Mamadou] Sakho – he struggled last season and took time to settle in – and Lovren has actually looked better in recent weeks when coming off the bench late on in games against Crystal Palace and Besiktas.
“Lovren was good last season and he is not a bad player, he has just had a difficult time at Liverpool since he joined the club.
“There have been a lot of eyes on him, which brings its own pressure, as does the price tag, and hopefully we will see the best of him between now and the end of the season. And then going into next season, like we have seen with his defensive partner Sakho, we should start seeing the best of him.”
Adam Lallana, like Lovren, will return to his former club when the Reds face their top-four rivals at St Mary’s on Sunday.
Lallana has scored four goals and has made three assists in 17 Premier League appearances following his £25m switch to Anfield.
Carragher, who retired from professional football in 2013, believes injuries have hampered Lallana’s impact at Liverpool so far.
“Lallana has played very well, but the problem has been that he has been hampered by having a few injuries that keep on slowing down his momentum at crucial times,” Carragher continued.
“But is obvious to everyone that he is a very good player, we just need to see a bit more of it and that comes from staying fit.”