Saturday 23 February 2019

John Aldridge urges Jurgen Klopp to replace 'weak link' Dejan Lovren - and offers a big-name alternative

Dejan Lovren (Martin Rickett/PA).
Dejan Lovren (Martin Rickett/PA).

John Aldridge has called on Jurgen Klopp to replace Dejan Lovren at the heart of the Liverpool defence as the Reds look to win their first league title since 1990.

Liverpool lead Man City by four points at the top of the table but were defeated 2-1 at the Ethiad Stadium last Thursday in a game that could have put a big gap between the sides.

Dejan Lovren was culpable for Sergio Aguero's opening goal, with the Croatian's performances continuing to be a source of frustration for Liverpool fans.

Jurgen Klopp took big steps to shore up his defence in 2018, breaking the bank to sign centre back Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson. However, writing in today's Sunday World, John Aldridge has said that it is time to spend similar money on a high profile replacement for Lovren, with the Liverpool legend suggesting Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

"This is not a moment for Liverpool to hit the panic button, but I would urge the club to consider making a move in the transfer market that could allow them to fit the final piece of a title-winning jigsaw into place," Aldridge said.

"Dejan Lovren was a weak link in the defence once again as Jurgen Klopp’s men lost their first Premier League game of the season at Manchester City on Thursday. And I suspect the Croatian will need to be replaced sooner rather than later if this team are to turn potential into success.

"We have seen the impact made by Virgil van Dijk since his £75m arrival last January and I wonder whether a move for a powerhouse defender like Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly could give Klopp’s side the bit they need at the back.

"Top-quality opposition continue to getjoy out of targeting Lovren, as he as a tendency to lose concentration and this is why I believe Van Dijk needs an A-list defensive partner."

Read John Aldridge's full column in today's Sunday World.

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