Klopp labels key Liverpool man ‘world class’ four times

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes Dejan Lovren is a “world-class” defender.

In an interview with Robbie Fowler in the Daily Mirror, Klopp labelled Lovren “world-class” on four occasions in a preview ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final with Real Madrid.

Whether or not Klopp’s semantics were aimed at boosting the confidence of Lovren or not, Klopp has been forced to play the Croatian at the heart of his defence, alongside Virgil van Dijk.

With Joel Matip out injured, Lovren has performed admirably with 11 starts in the Champions League this season, although he is a player who has failed to convince all Liverpool fans that he is the real deal since he moved from Southampton in 2014.

Lovren was at fault for two of Spurs’ goals in the 4-1 defeat at Wembley last October which resulted in Klopp hooking him on the half-hour mark.

But the centre-back responded well and has been solid en route to the final in Kiev with good performances against Porto, Man City and Roma.

Klopp has admitted he was angry with Lovren at Wembley.

“I took Dejan off after 25 minutes and I didn’t speak to him afterwards. But then a few days later I saw him waiting for my talk, so I said, come in. ‘You took me off after 20 minutes’. Because you were bad,” said the Liverpool boss.

“But I said to him – maybe this was the decisive moment when he got it – I think he’s a world-class centre-half, 100 percent.

“Yes with weakness, concentration can happen from time to time, could be harder here, whatever. But he is a world-class centre-half, otherwise he would not be here any more.

“Kolo Toure left, Martin Skrtel left, Mama Sakho left, a lot of centre-halves we had all left. He’s still here, I am not blind and I am not silly.

“Especially because the whole crowd would be happy if we do it – it would be easy (to let him go).

“But I am completely convinced about him. That is all there is to it. So he hears I think he’s a world-class centre-half, and that maybe helped him, I don’t know.

“But it’s really the thing that players need help in these moments, and they need a clear opinion.

“They respect me, so if I think they are good, then they start thinking themselves they are good. And Dejan Lovren is 100 percent a world-class player.”


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