Liverpool’s Croatian centre-back Dejan Lovren has expressed his happiness and surprise at the instant partnership that he been able to develop with record winter signing Virgil van Dijk in the heart of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side defence in recent weeks.
When Liverpool announced Van Dijk’s impending arrival in January, the widespread interpretation of the club parting with £75 million – beating the previous world-record fee for a defender – was that it would signal the end for Lovren’s starting role at the club. What has actually transpired is the complete opposite.
Before starting alongside Lovren for the first in the 2-2 home draw against Tottenham, Klopp tried working out a partnership between Matip and Van Dijk in three games prior to that but was clearly not impressed by what he had seen by the duo. Ever since the Spurs game, Van Dijk and Lovren have functioned pretty well together and clearly share a very good rapport off the pitch.
Acknowledging the same, Lovren stated that despite already displaying his quality in the six appearances so far, Van Dijk is still adjusting to life at the club and will only get better with time. Klopp has also aired similar views in the past when he said that the best version of Van Dijk will materialise once he has been pushed through a full-throttle pre-season over the summer.
Lovren didn’t expect his partnership with Van Dijk to settle fast in Liverpool
As reported by ESPN, Lovren said,
“To be honest, I didn’t expect that we would be so quick [to settle] together. 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.”
Lovren, who has been a much-maligned figure at Anfield ever since his arrival from Southampton also stated that he he his helping his new teammate in settling down at the club and adapting to life on Merseyside.
“It is a difficult period sometimes to adapt, but he is managing it quite well. Everyone is behind him and giving him support. We are a football team that likes to play with high pressure and I think he does this very good,” Lovren concluded.