Mark Lawrenson: Why Dejan Lovren injury blessing in disguise for Liverpool
The former Liverpool defender runs the rule over Dejan Lovren
Mark Lawrenson says Dejan Lovern’s injury could be a blessing in disguise for Liverpool.
The Serbia international missed their 3-2 victory over Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday after he injured his ankle in the League Cup mid-week.
It’s like he had never, ever defended before in his life, let alone been a £20million international centre-back
Lovren, who moved to Liverpool from Southampton in a £20m deal last summer, has made an error-strewn start to the season after Brendan Rodgers placed his faith in the 25-year-old centre-half.
However, Lawrenson reckons Lovren’s setback could be a positive with France international Mamadou Sakho set to get a prolonged run in the first-team alongside Martin Skrtel.
Lawrenson told Liverpool Echo: “You never want anyone to be injured, and you wouldn’t wish a serious injury on anybody.
“But the timing of Lovren’s absence could be a blessing in disguise for both player and team.
“It’s now a big chance for Mamadou Sakho to stake a regular claim and maybe even for Joe Gomez to, at some stage, impress in his favoured position.”
The former Republic of Ireland defender was particularly critical of Lovren’s performance in a penalty shootout victory over Carlisle United before he became injured.
Explaining why Lovren doesn’t look like a £20m defender, Lawrenson added: “Call it loyalty for a fellow centre-back, but I have always been willing to defend him.
“He had a spell of two or three good games at the start of this season and you thought ‘you know what, maybe he’s going to fine’.
“Wrong. His decision-making is absolutely awful. Awful.
“What on earth was he thinking for the goal Carlisle scored in midweek? He should have gone and closed the ball down, not least as there were two other centre-backs to cover.
“Instead he came rushing out. It’s like he had never, ever defended before in his life, let alone been a £20m international centre-back.”
Liverpool moved up to seventh in the Premier League table after their close-fought victory over Aston Villa.