Former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has revealed that he believes his Anfield exit came at the “right time in his career.
The 31-year-old arrived in Merseyside in 2014 from Southampton for a fee in the region of £20million. Despite dividing the opinions of the club’s fanbase, he enjoyed a successful six year stint at the club by contributing to both the Premier League and Champions League-winning campaigns.
After 185 appearances for the club, it was revealed Lovren would be departing Anfield for a new challenge in 2020. He signed for Russian Premier League side Zenit for a fee in the region of £10.9million.
Since his switch to St. Petersburg, the Croatia international enjoyed a successful first season at the club, winning both the league and Super Cup trophies respectively.
Speaking to FourFourTwo magazine, Lovren reiterated that he had no regrets over his departure from the club and felt that the switch to Russia came at the right time for him.
He said: “I believe it was meant to be to leave Liverpool last summer. I was also close to leaving the season before, but it just wasn’t meant to happen.
“Leaving Liverpool was definitely not a mistake – I’ve already won two trophies in the my first season so I can only be proud.”
The centre-back played 28 times for Zenit in the most recent campaign, adding one goal and two assists to a host of clean sheets in his first season for the club.
League title success for the Russian outfit will once again see them play in the Champions League next season, meaning there’s a chance that Lovren could face his old team-mates in the tournament’s group stage next season.
This would also mean a reunion for himself and ex-manager Jurgen Klopp, who Lovren recently admitted he did not always have the best relationship with.
Lovren maintains good Klopp relationship
Speaking to FourFour Two magazine, Lovren discussed the relationship between himself and the German manager, reassuring Reds fans that they left things on good terms.
He said: “Naturally he was the manager and I was the player who should deliver what he was saying, so sometimes we didn’t have talks in the best mood – especially when I had an injury and he wanted me.
“But we said goodbye to each other as friends. We said that whatever we needed, we could phone each other. It was a very good, open talk.”
Since Lovren’s departure, the centre-back position has emerged as somewhat of a tactical headache for Klopp, with notable long-term injuries to Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip plaguing Liverpool’s season.
As a result, the Reds have recently secured the signature of Ibrahima Kounate from RB Leipzig.