New Liverpool signing Dejan Lovren has earned high praise indeed from teammate Daniel Sturridge, with the striker having described the Croatian as one of the most accomplished defenders he has ever faced.
Lovren was a £20 million acquisition from Southampton, the third player to leave St Mary’s for Anfield after deals for Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana, and was recruited to bring extra steel to Liverpool’s problem area of last season.
Poor defensive performances were what ultimately cost Liverpool the Premier League title, and the signing of another centre-back was somewhat imperative following the club’s return to European competition.
Lovren only joined Southampton a year ago but performed to distinction during that maiden campaign, producing a number of notable displays agains the great and good of the division - Sturridge included.
The Liverpool centre forward is somewhat relieved Lovren will be on side rather than in opposition when the campaign gets underway, as he outlined in a tweet on Sunday evening.
Sturridge said: “Everyone follow my new team mate @DejanLovrenLFC6 top player. One of the best defenders I've played against.”
Liverpool debut awaits
Lovren has yet to make an appearance for his new club due to troubles with his visa application, meaning the 25-year-old has been unable to join Liverpool during their pre-season tour of the USA.
However, he is expected to play a prominent role once integrated into the squad, and it would appear will become one of Brendan Rodgers’ first choice central defensive pair alongside Martin Skrtel.
Should his progression continue after becoming a Liverpool player, Lovren may find that he is afforded the ultimate honour of being named the club’s captain once Steven Gerrard decides to lower the curtain on his illustrious career.
Liverpool legend is already touting Lovren as a potential skipper of the club, and believes he is well placed to assume the role when Gerrard does decided to retire.
"Centre-backs normally make great captains,” Carragher explained.
"If Lovren establishes himself in the team became a top player by showing the same form he has at Southampton for Liverpool, then in the next few years when Stevie does decide to call it day he will be in contention.
"You look at him and he has the potential to make a big powerful impact at the back and that's what Liverpool need.”