Grading Liverpool's £20m signing Dejan Lovren - is he the man to plug the leaky defence?

Dejan Lovren

Liverpool finally agreed a deal to sign Southampton centre back Dejan Lovren last week - but how good is the move from a Reds point of view?

Having already landed Southampton duo Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert, Liverpool made it a hattrick with the signing of Lovren. The Croatian centre back was impressive on the South Coast last season, and having witnessed a shaky defence last season, is Lovren the man to solve Brendan Rodgers' problems at Anfield? Here's our grade for Liverpool's big money signing...

Positives

It's no secret that Liverpool had to find new defenders this summer. The stunning collapse in the 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace last season ultimately cost the Reds the title, so manager Rodgers had to make it a priority - even if the departure of Luis Suarez forced him into signing more attacking players. Yet now, he has landed Southampton's Lovren, who enjoyed a superb first season in English football following his £8.5m move from Lyon last summer. The Croatian international has many of the attributes that Liverpool need; strength, aerial ability and a great reading of the game - he's even comfortable with the ball at his feet, which could be vital when playing for Rodgers. He looks to be the perfect partner for Mamadou Sakho in the Liverpool defence, and his performances for Southampton suggest that he will be a valuable addition to a Liverpool back line that struggled at times last season.

Negatives

The £20m fee means that Liverpool have paid over twice as much as Southampton did just a year ago. That has caused some concern from Reds fans, who feel the club have overpaid for the 25-year-old. Whilst he still has room to grow, there is also a feeling that Lovren isn't that much of an upgrade for Liverpool. Lovren joins Sakho, Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger in the 'good, but not great' category, which is certainly an issue if Liverpool aim to compete in both the Premier League and the Champions League this season.

Grade: B-

Lovren is coming off his best season in football so far, and that does bode well for Liverpool. However, there is a feeling that Liverpool have not only paid over the odds for Lovren, but that he isn't really a vast improvement on what the club already had. With Martin Skrtel set to turn 30, Lovren and Sakho should be the club's first choice centre back pairing for some time yet. Rodgers and Liverpool are banking on both continuing to develop and improve, and if that doesn't happen then this will go down as an expensive failure for Liverpool.

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