Date published: Saturday 25th April 2020 4:13
Liverpool have been warned that they risk causing a rift in the ‘dressing room dynamic’ of both Mohamed Salah and the club as a whole if they sell his ‘best mate’ Dejan Lovren.
The Croatian international has slipped down the pecking order at Anfield since the mega money arrival of Virgil van Dijk 18 months ago.
The Dutch colossus has become the club’s undisputed number one first choice at centre-half, but it is either Joel Matip or Joe Gomez who are usually chosen to partner the 2019 Ballon d’Or runner up.
Speculation over an exit in the search for regular first-team football has mounted for Lovren in recent times, with the path to Serie A big hitters Roma appearing open after the club came to a frustrating conclusion over a Man Utd defender.
However, amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding football’s finances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Reds may yet hold fire on axeing a number of their fringe players.
That viewpoint has been bolstered by the latest comments from Sky Sports reporter Vinny O’Connor, who believes the club must tread carefully when determining if Lovren should be shown the door.
“Do I expect Dejan Lovren to leave this summer? Do you know what I’m not sure anymore,” O’Connor said (via the Daily Express).
“I thought at one point the Roma deal would have happened last summer and it didn’t.
“There was a time where I thought Dejan would push for the opportunity for regular first-team football elsewhere if it was offered, but now there seems to be a slight change in that.
“When I last interviewed him he admitted he wanted to play each week but at the same time something special is happening at Liverpool which makes it difficult to leave.
“On top of that he’s best mates with Mo Salah, so there’s a dressing room dynamic to consider from both the player’s perspective and the club’s perspective as well.
“Yes he wants Jurgen Klopp to play him more but there’s still a decent relationship between the two as well.
“Klopp trusts him and Lovren knows he will get opportunities even if they’re not as often as he would like.
“So apologies for sitting on the fence here but I could see Lovren staying beyond this summer, particularly given the impact the coronavirus pandemic is likely to have on the transfer market, and the difficulty there could subsequently be in bringing in an adequate replacement.