Croatian defender Dejan Lovren has opened up on his future at Liverpool. He admitted that his commitment to the club hasn’t changed despite lack of games under Jurgen Klopp.
The 30-year-old centre-back has been a valuable presence for the Reds since his arrival from Southampton in 2014. His playing time has reduced massively in the past year due to the arrival of Virgil van Dijk and the emergence of Joe Gomez & Matip. But as chance are hard to come by, Lovren remains committed to the team.
“It has been a test for me,” Lovren says. “But in these moments, I think you should stick with the team, even more, to show your quality even if you are not on the pitch with the first XI. The next day in training, you should give everything, just to respect your team-mates.
“Of course, it’s not the happiest moment when I see myself on the bench, but it’s the decision of the manager. I respect it and I am always the guy who will work 200 per cent behind closed doors. It’s just part of football. If 20 players could play, it would be nice, but there are only 11 places. Whoever is in the best shape will play and that’s fair enough.”
This is a commendable attitude from the Croatian. He has always given his best for the club but he has faced a fair share of criticism in the past years. He has achieved so much with Liverpool as well as Croatia but it’s his errors that make the headlines instead of his achievements.
“Listen, it’s always like real life,” he says. “Sometimes it’s positive, sometimes it’s negative. But you must always stay true to yourself. You know what you are doing behind closed doors. You are working your everything off. But at this level, it’s normal to be exposed to criticism.
“To be honest, I’m not too bothered. If I feel criticism, it will be first from the manager. But my biggest critic is me. I can see when I perform well or not, it’s as simple as that. I don’t need somebody to tell me. I don’t read a lot of newspapers or listen much to the pundits.
“It is what it is. It’s football and we have to deal with it. Some players can’t do that and they go inside themselves, but accepting it is important. The criticism will just make me stronger. It has always been part of football and it always will be part of football.”
Lovren was a regular starter for the Reds since his arrival from Southampton in 2014. But in the last two seasons, he has featured in just 21 Premier League games. He has fallen down the pecking order and is now the club’s fourth-choice centre-back behind Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip.