Dejan Lovren has declared he is fit and waiting for his chance to play at Liverpool, but says “you never know what can happen in the summer”.
The centre-back, who infamously claimed he was one of the best defenders in the world in 2018, has found his chances few and far between this season at Anfield.
The 30-year-old has made just 13 starts in all competitions this season and picked up a a hamstring injury in December, which saw him the busy festive period.
That has left the Croatian as third choice to partner Virgil van Dijk with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip ahead of him in the pecking order.
Lovren though, who is under contract until 2021, says he has “another good five years” left in him at the top level, whilst also admitted that not playing is “frustrating” and then saying numerous times he is “happy”.
“I’m patient. I’m working behind closed doors a lot and sometimes it is frustrating when you don’t play,” he told Sky Sports News.
“You are fighting with yourself in your mind, asking ‘Why not?’. But you are accepting it, you are moving on and from my personal point of view, I want to be better every day in the training sessions.
“The day will come when I will get again the chance so I am happy that I am not injured – which is the most important thing – and I’m also happy that we are all together and we have a full squad at the moment.
“Of course I want to be in the team that wins many trophies. I think, and I feel, that I have quite a lot of years to give especially in professional football. I’m 30, so another good five years.
“I don’t think I’m just a throwaway. If the club needs me I am here, I am happy. But you never know what can happen in the summer. At the moment I am just focused on the point where I can say I made it [as part of a great team].”
The centre-back almost left Anfield last summer, but for the late intervention of Jurgen Klopp and earlier this season he then admitted he was struggling as a squad player.
“The transfer window time is now over. I will always be here if I am needed,” he said in October.
“I am giving more than 100 per cent for this club from day one. There are good days and bad days but six years is quite a long time. Everything, at the moment, is fine. Let’s see what will happen.
“It was a challenge for me this summer to stay here but I gave everything in pre-season and I fought.
“In the end I stayed and I am quite happy.”
Lovren though is still focused on winning with Liverpool this season.
“It’s not a lie. It’s a privilege to be in the dressing-room and to see smiley faces, but it’s not just about smiley faces – it’s about how we are still reacting on the training ground,” he added
“We are still hungry, still greedy and this is what makes us special, to be honest.
“I think many other teams would go easy now with a 22-point lead but we don’t look at these 22 points. We are just focused game-by-game and this I think is the simplest way to be the best.
“It is a good experience also for the younger ones, to understand that even if you are on top you still need to work as hard as if you were in the middle of the table or in last position.
“Let’s say, we clicked this year – maybe even last year – but we missed out by one point.
“Now we understand each other, what we need, what we want. And I especially want, that we are remembered maybe like the Barcelona team that won in four years [something like] 20 trophies.
“Why should we not do that? I think we can do it and I want that we are remembered as one of the best teams that have played – not only for this year but for many, many years.”