Speaking ahead of the West Ham clash at Anfield, Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers allayed fears of the fans who felt Mamadou Sakho might leave the club, with Dejan Lovren continuing to impress after being handed starts in each of the opening three games for the Reds.
Liverpool FC have made a fairly good start to the new season. However, the goals are not flowing as they did in the 2013/14 season, nor is the football ‘poetry in motion’ as it was with the likes of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in full flow.
On a positive note, Liverpool FC seems to have a rock solid defence at the moment, having kept three clean sheets in as many games in the league despite facing the attacking talents in the ranks of Arsenal FC and Stoke City away from home.
Rodgers hails Lovren
One man whose revival mirrors that of the Reds is the Croatian center-back Dejan Lovren. Signed for a hefty 20m GBP fee from Southamton, the former Lyon man struggled last season – so much so that he was struggling to get in the side ahead of Kolo Toure towards the second half of the season.
Fast forward to 2015/16, Lovren has started all three games and has looked pretty solid, if not great, in those games.
Praising the defender ahead of the West Ham game, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said that not only has Lovren upped his game, but the new Liverpool FC fullbacks have aided the cause.
As quoted by the official club website, Rodgers said: “Like a lot of players, it was difficult in the first year coming in. There was a lack of stability in the overall group. It was a case of reassuring him that hea s still a top-quality player.
a What has really helped him has been the full-backs on either side a how quickly they close the game when we lose the ball, that transition, either to get the ball back or close the space.
a You saw examples from the other night. When the pitch was open we tried to play and when the game breaks down, how quickly ita s closed.
a [Nathaniel] Clyne and [Joe] Gomez on the sides really help the centre-halves.
a For him, hea s much more patient in his game. He has got the stability of playing. He is now in the team and hea s in the team because he had a good pre-season.
a Hea s in good condition fitness-wise and youa re seeing someone that is focused but a little bit more relaxed in his position.
a We brought him here because we believe he can be a top-class defender; at this early stage, that partnership between him and Martin [Skrtel] is proving that.a
Rodgers dismisses Sakho exit rumors
Mamadou Sakho has found himself out of the squad as the Reds keep churning out clean sheet after clean sheet. The Frenchman has been linked with moves to AS Roma and Bayer Leverkusen, with the former having a loan bid turned down.
Sakho has been offered a new deal to stay at Anfield, and dismissing any fears that the player might leave the club, Rodgers said: a Mama is an important part of our squad.
a At the moment hea s not in the team but hea s working hard in training and hopefully looking to do everything he possibly can so when the opportunity does come a because invariably it does come somewhere in the season a that youa re ready to take the opportunity.a