Saturday 14 December 2019

Lovren surprised at how quickly Virgil van Dijk has settled into Liverpool defence

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk. Photo: PA
Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk. Photo: PA

Carl Markham

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren believes he can enjoy a mutually beneficial partnership with club-record signing Virgil van Dijk.

The Croatian's place was seen as being most under threat following the arrival of the £75million Southampton centre-back.

Fitness issues have forced the world's most expensive defender to miss a couple of games and that has meant manager Jurgen Klopp has had to rotate his centre-back partnerships.

Lovren has played twice with the Holland international and together they have kept one clean sheet and conceded two goals, both against Tottenham with one a contentious penalty.

Joel Matip, widely regarded as likely to be first choice alongside Van Dijk, has played four times with him and conceded five goals, also keeping one clean sheet.

The Lovren-Van Dijk partnership has yet to be beaten with their last outing the 5-0 Champions League win in Porto.

"To be honest I didn't expect that we would be so quick [to settle] together," said Lovren.

"But when you are a top centre-back I think it is normal and Virgil is one of them.

"Of course he needs some time to adapt because Southampton to Liverpool is different but he understands what the manager wants - although sometimes I have to remind him also.

"I help him as much as I know. It is a difficult period sometimes to adapt but he is managing it quite well.

"Everyone is behind him and giving him support."

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