It’s been an incredibly tough start to the season for Dejan Lovren.
The centre-back’s poor form came to a head when Jurgen Klopp took him off just 31 minutes into Liverpool’s 4-1 defeat to Tottenham after he was at fault for the first two goals.
The 28-year-old then revealed sickening abuse he had been sent on social media, though the majority of Reds fans responded with class, voting him the club’s Player of the Month for October.
The Liverpool Echo report he was also the victim of an attempted break-in earlier this week when he was at Anfield for the Champions League victory over Maribor.
Even if the defender hasn’t been at his best and has to take some of the blame for his side’s notorious problems at the back, there’s no excuse for the treatment he’s been getting.
That’s the view of his former international manager Slaven Bilic, who handed Lovren his Croatia debut in 2009.
Now in charge of West Ham, Bilic will meet up with his ex-player later today, and has offered a possible explanation of why he’s made so many errors recently.
“I’m very, very disappointed with the treatment he has received,” he said, per the Echo.
“He’s a very good player. He’s more than a centre-back. He never hides on the pitch. He’s always there.
Why has Lovren slipped up?
“A lot of mistakes, sometimes he’s making up for somebody else’s mistakes. It’s not easy to play centre-back at Liverpool because of where they stand.”
Lovren is far from the only Liverpool defender who has endured a frustrating few months. Joel Matip has also struggled and both players face uncertain futures due to Klopp’s continued interest in Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk.
“Take Real Madrid against Spurs, and they have probably the best centre-back in the world in Sergio Ramos,” Bilic added.
“But when he’s exposed on such a big space against Dele Alli and Harry Kane, he doesn’t look good. It’s very hard to play centre-back.
“Lovren’s a really good lad, an honest lad. He never asks for any excuses. I hope it isn’t going to be on Saturday but sooner or later he’s going to score a goal like he scored against Borussia Dortmund and he’s going to be a hero again.”
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