Who should partner Dejan Lovren in Liverpool's defence?

Martin Skrtel

Liverpool have signed Southampton centre back Dejan Lovren - but who will be their first choice centre back pairing?

The Reds' summer spending has continued, as manager Brendan Rodgers wrapped up the signing of Lovren on in a £20m deal, with the Southampton centre back joining Emre Can, Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic at Anfield.

Whilst Can may be seen as Steven Gerrard's heir and the likes of Lambert, Lallana and Markovic will all be competing for minutes up front, Lovren will be expected to make an impact right away. Given Liverpool's shaky defence last season, establishing a consistent partnership will be important to their hopes of emulating last season's second place finish.

With that in mind, who is Rodgers likely to go with as his first choice pairing in the heart of his defence?

Last season, Rodgers forked out around £18m to bring French international Sakho to Merseyside from Paris Saint-Germain, but the 24-year-old had an inconsistent season. As capable of looking like a world beating defender - as he does for France - as he is of committing a game changing error, Sakho has already divided opinion between Liverpool fans.

At times last season, he looked cumbersome and erratic in possession, causing fans to panic every time he got the ball around his own box. On the other hand, Slovakian international Martin Skrtel was one of Liverpool's most consistent performers throughout the season, turning in a number of physical and dominant displays as the Reds' best centre back in front of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

A Lovren-Skrtel partnership would seem logical given Skrtel's displays last season, but would Rodgers be so quick to relegate Sakho to the bench less than a year after his move? Of course, competition for places at a club like Liverpool will always be high and Sakho would find playing time one way or another, but partnering Sakho - who has bags of potential - with Lovren would give Rodgers a strong duo in defence as he looks to build a team for the future.

Of course, we have seen Rodgers drop £15m signing Joe Allen to the bench, as well as loan out two other signings in Oussama Assaidi and Fabio Borini. It's of course plausible that Sakho could start the season on the fringes of the team, and whilst the phrase "iron sharpens iron" could be applicable in terms of the depth at centre back, Skrtel would appear most likely to cruelly left out - at this stage, anyway.

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