Players - Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren
Birthdate: 5 July 1989
Birthplace: Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Nationality: Croatia
Other clubs: Dinamo Zagreb (2006-10), Inter Zapresic (loan, 2006-08), Lyon (2010-13), Southampton (2013-14), Zenit St Petersburg (2020-)
Bought from: Southampton
Signed for LFC: £20m, 27.07.2014
International debut: 08.10.2009 vs Qatar
International caps: 61/4 (28/1 at LFC) - 17.11.2020
Liverpool debut: 17.08.2014
Last appearance: 21.06.2020
Debut goal: 28.10.2014
Last goal: 27.11.2019
Contract expiry: 27.07.2020
Win ratio: 56.22% W:104 D:42 L:39
Honours: Champions League 2019, Premier League 2019/20
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 2 / 1
League games / goals / assists: 131 / 5 / 3
Total games / goals / assists: 185 / 8 / 4

Player Profile

Not since 1991 when Liverpool swooped to prize both Mark Wright and Dean Saunders away from Derby County has the club targeted a single club for high-profile and repetitive transfer business, which is what happened to Southampton in the summer of 2014. But there some of the similarity ends. Derby had been relegated from the top division in bottom place in 1991 and it was inevitable that their big players would be looking for new clubs. Southampton had consolidated their place in the Premier League by ending the 2013/14 season in a very creditable eighth place. But within weeks they had seen both their talismanic scorer and their captain depart for Liverpool and they were soon followed by a key central defender. Southampton rejected Liverpool’s opening advances and were probably reluctant to let a third player go to the same club at any price. But most clubs know that keeping an unhappy player will only lead to further problems later, so eventually the two clubs’ negotiations reached a stage where both were happy and the Croatian became a Liverpool player towards the end of July 2014.

Dejan Lovren was born in the city of Zenica in Yugoslavia which, following the break-up of that country, became part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. His allegiance to Croatia comes from his parents. As civil war raged in Yugoslavia the Lovren family relocated to Munich so Dejan’s formal education began in Germany. The family headed back to Croatia after seven years in Germany and the youngster soon became a youth player in the town of Karlovac before moving on to Dinamo Zagreb in 2004 around the time of his 15th birthday. Within a couple of years he was making his senior league debut for Dinamo. The club from Croatia’s capital city then sent him on loan to NK Inter Zaprešić for two years and he did well there, making fifty league appearances, before returning to Zagreb. He was 19 years old when the next season began and he helped Dinamo to become the Croatian champions in 2008/09. He was also a member of the team that beat Hadjuk Split in the Croatian cup final that season.

Lovren made his senior debut for his country shortly after his 20th birthday and the following January moved to Olympique Lyonnais in France, signing a deal that was meant to last until the end of the 2013/14 season. The French top division, like its English counterpart, consists of thirty-eight league matches. But for one reason or another the defender only played in 56% of Lyon’s league fixtures during his three full seasons in France. Lyon finished 3rd, 4th and 3rd again but did win the Coupe de France in 2012, although Lovren had to be substituted at an early stage of their final victory over US Quevilly at the Stade de France in Paris. Despite having extended his Lyon contract by a further two years in 2012 Lovren signed a four-year deal with Southampton in June 2013.

Despite it being a year during which his club made good progress, there was no real indication that the player was unhappy until his teammates Lambert and Lallana had left St Mary’s for pastures new. Although Lovren was out of action for a few matches after being injured during Southampton’s 2-2 draw at Sunderland in January 2014, he still played in 31 of the 38 Premier League matches, scoring twice; that fixture at the Stadium of Light and the only goal of the game at Anfield in September, 2013 a header that ended Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season and lifted the Saints into 6th place in the table behind early pace-setters Chelsea and Liverpool themselves.

Brendan Rodgers said that Liverpool had lacked leadership in defence since Jamie Carragher retired in 2013. Carra himself was delighted by Lovren's capture and said on Twitter that he and his Sky Sports' colleague, Gary Neville, both had Lovren in their Premier League team of 2013 and he thought Lovren was "excellent for Southampton." Mark Wright, former Southampton stalwart and formerly Britain's costliest defender when Liverpool purchased him from Derby, mentioned in the beginning of this article, commented on talkSPORT: "Dejan Lovren looks a decent enough player and if there is one position Liverpool needed to address [it's centre-back]. They concede too many goals from set-pieces last season and they conceded a lot of silly goals, if they hadn’t the title might have been theirs and probably should have been theirs. And they’re addressing that by getting this lad in. “Is he the answer? Time will tell but one thing I do know is that Brendan Rodgers is very thorough. The most important thing is shutting the backdoor and they’ve gone for this lad, but for one good season £20million seems a heck of a lot of money.”

Possibly because he arrived with a big reputation as well as a big price-tag the Croatian defender took time to settle down at his new club. But he still played in nearly 70% of Liverpool's Premier League matches in 2014/15 and added a further 12 appearances in the cup competitions. Although mainly bought to shore up a somewhat porous defence from the previous season he could still be a threat in the opposition's penalty-area; and he proved that by heading a last-minute winning goal in front of the Kop when Swansea City came to Anfield for a fourth round League Cup match at the end of October. At times he seemed in awe of his surroundings and made a number of costly errors, leading to him having to settle for a place on the bench on six occasions in the second half of the season. 2015-16 was much better for Lovren. Although it didn't start well and he made some atrocious mistakes in defeats to West Ham and Manchester United, the arrival of Jurgen Klopp helped him to transform his game and cut out the silly errors. A simple switch to the right of the back two worked wonders and he was much more confident with Nathaniel Clyne next to him than Alberto Moreno. He formed a solid partnership with Sakho and also got a goal that will go down in Anfield folklore when he netted the injury time winner in a pulsating Europa League quarter final against Borussia Dortmund.

Lovren remained a regular in 2016-17 and in January 2018, the arrival of Virgil Van Dijk saw him and Joel Matip in competition to accompany the new world record defensive signing. Injuries to Matip saw Lovren develop a fine understanding and he excelled with the Dutchman taking more responsible for organizing the defence. Lovren was outstanding in the Champions League and in the summer became only the fourth Liverpool player to appear in a World Cup final when Croatia exceed expectations in Russia. On his return to Merseyside though, he revealed he had been playing through the pain barrier and was unable to train due to a stomach injury, leading to him missing the start of the campaign. A pelvis injury then kept Lovren out of the side until October. After picking up a hamstring injury against Wolves in the FA Cup in January 2019, he made only five more appearances that season, three of them as a late substitute. 

In 2019/20 Lovren made fourteen appearances in all competitions, scoring against Napoli in the Champions League at Anfield. At the end of the COVID 19 delayed season Russian club Zenit St Petersburg signed him from Liverpool for £10.9m on a three-year deal on 27 July 2020, shortly after he received his winner's medal for winning the Premier League.
Appearances per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 131 7 11 36 0 185
2014-2015 26 4 2 6 0 38
2015-2016 24 1 4 10 0 39
2016-2017 29 0 3 0 0 32
2017-2018 29 0 0 14 0 43
2018-2019 13 1 1 3 0 18
2019-2020 10 1 1 3 0 15
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
Total Opponent
11 Southampton
11 Manchester City
10 Crystal Palace
9 Manchester United
8 Newcastle United
8 Chelsea
8 Everton
8 Tottenham
8 Bournemouth
7 West Ham United
6 Leicester City
6 Stoke City
5 Sunderland
5 Swansea City
5 Arsenal
4 Watford
3 Burnley
3 Brighton & Hove Albion
3 Aston Villa
3 Huddersfield Town
3 Porto
3 Sevilla
2 Villarreal
2 Besiktas
2 Napoli
2 Hoffenheim
2 Hull City
2 Middlesbrough
2 Wolves
2 Blackburn Rovers
2 Real Madrid
2 Roma
2 Borussia Dortmund
2 Spartak Moscow
2 Basel
1 Sion
1 Paris St Germain
1 Shrewsbury Town
1 Carlisle United
1 Cardiff City
1 Salzburg
1 Ludogorets
1 Rubin
1 Burton Albion
1 NK Maribor
1 Genk
1 Bordeaux
1 MK Dons
Total Started/substitutions
168 Started
50 On the bench
17 Substitute
15 Substituted
Total Competition
131 Premier League
24 Champions League
12 Europa League
11 League Cup
7 FA Cup
Goals per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 5 0 1 2 0 8
2014-2015 0 0 1 0 0 1
2015-2016 0 0 0 1 0 1
2016-2017 2 0 0 0 0 2
2017-2018 2 0 0 0 0 2
2018-2019 1 0 0 0 0 1
2019-2020 0 0 0 1 0 1
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
Total Started/substitutions
8 Started
0 Substitute
Total Competition
5 Premier League
1 Europa League
1 Champions League
1 League Cup
Total Goal minute period
1 1-15 minutes
3 16-30 minutes
1 31-45 minutes
1 46-60 minutes
1 61-75 minutes
2 76-90 minutes
Total Open play/Penalty
8 Open play
Assists per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 3 0 0 1 0 4
2014-2015 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015-2016 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016-2017 1 0 0 0 0 1
2017-2018 1 0 0 1 0 2
2018-2019 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019-2020 1 0 0 0 0 1
A more detailed look at the player's assists
Total Opponent
1 Sunderland
1 Everton
1 Burnley
1 Real Madrid
Total Competition
3 Premier League
1 Champions League
Milestone Appearances
# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 17.08.2014 Southampton Anfield League
50 26.11.2015 Bordeaux Anfield Europe
100 31.01.2017 Chelsea Anfield League
150 06.05.2018 Chelsea Stamford Bridge League
Milestone Goals
# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 90 28.10.2014 Swansea City Anfield League Cup
Related Articles
Dejan Lovren scores his first goal in Europe - BBC

BBC report on Liverpool - Napoli on 27 November 2019.

Other Clubs
Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Dynamo Zagreb 2005-2006 Croatia 1 1 0 1 0
Inter Zaprešić 2006-2007 Croatia 2 21 0 25 0
Inter Zaprešić 2007-2008 Croatia 1 29 1 31 1
Dynamo Zagreb 2008-2009 Croatia 1 22 1 38 3
Dynamo Zagreb 2009-2010 Croatia 1 14 0 29 1
Lyon 2009-2010 France 1 8 0 10 0
Lyon 2010-2011 France 1 28 0 37 1
Lyon 2011-2012 France 1 18 1 31 1
Lyon 2012-2013 France 1 18 1 24 1
Southampton 2013-2014 Premier League 31 2 31 2
Total 190 6 257 10