Martin Keown names Liverpool FC star who has improved thanks to Virgil van Dijk
The Arsenal legend singles out Liverpool FC centre-half Dejan Lovren for special praise
Martin Keown believes Virgil van Dijk’s arrival at Liverpool FC has improved Dejan Lovren.
The Reds signed the Croatia international in a £20m deal from Southampton in the 2014 summer transfer window following an impressive season at St Mary’s.
Lovren was signed to help fill the void left by club legend Jamie Carragher but the Croatian star struggled to adapt to life at the Anfield outfit.
Indeed, the 28-year-old has often been criticised for his disappointing performances in the Liverpool FC team after making a series of costly mistakes.
Jurgen Klopp made Van Dijk the most expensive defender in the world following his £75m switch to Liverpool FC from Southampton in the January transfer window.
The Netherlands international has helped Liverpool FC to keep eight clean sheets in their last 13 games in all competitions.
Lovren and Van Dijk managed to limit the Premier League’s top goal-scorers Manchester City to one goal in their 5-1 victory over the Citizens in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Former Arsenal defender Keown believes Van Dijk is partly responsible for Lovren’s improvement in recent months.
“Playing alongside Virgil van Dijk has doubtlessly helped: Van Dijk is an excellent communicator and organiser, and having a partner like that is always going to take the pressure off you and make sure you are focused. But we need to give credit to the desire of Lovren,” Keown told the Daily Mail.
“He always looks fired up in these big games, and that pressure gives him focus. When he doesn’t sense danger, he seems to relax and he can be caught out.
“Some defenders look smooth and composed on the front foot, but crumble under pressure: Lovren is the opposite, and that bodes well for Liverpool’s Champions League hopes.”
Lovren has scored five goals in 177 games in all competitions over the past three and a half seasons at the Anfield outfit.