Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is statistically the best centre-back in the Premier League, according to a recent study by CIES Football Observatory.
The Croatian, who joined the Reds last summer from Southampton in a £20 million deal, has endured a mixed debut season for Liverpool, yet still pipped the likes of John Terry, Vincent Kompany and Laurent Koscielny to claim top spot.
The study, which determined the best performing defenders, midfielders and forwards in each of Europe's top five leagues, compared the success rate of each defender’s rigour and recovery (ability to minimise goalscoring opportunities) and distribution (ability to retain and pass the ball).
As a result, Lovren, 25, came out on top despite being widely regarded as an expensive flop, let alone that he is part of a defence that has leaked 42 goals this season - the highest of the Premier League’s top five.
Thiago Silva (PSG), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus) and Javier Mascherano (Barcelona) make up the remainder of the list.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, Gael Clichy (Manchester City) is statistically, and again questionably, the best full-back, while Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Eden Hazard (Chelsea) and Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) are the best defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder and forward respectively.
The study additionally revealed recently-crowned La Liga champions Barcelona as the most dangerous club in the top five European leagues with only two Premier League teams featuring in the top ten–Chelsea (seventh) and Arsenal (ninth).
Manchester City (11th), Everton (14th) and Southampton (16th) made the top 20, while Liverpool came 22nd and Manchester United placed a lowly 26th.
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