By Callum – @CalRevs
Four years-ago this week, Dejan Lovren signed for Liverpool from Southampton for a fee of £20m after impressing in his time on the South Coast.
He helped them to an 8th-placed finish ending up only seven points behind reigning champions Manchester United under the management of now-Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.
Lovren was born to Croatian parents in the city of Zenica, Yugoslavia (now Bosnia and
His family fled from Yugoslavia to Munich to escape the Bosnian War when Lovren was three years old, and he spent the next seven years in Germany.
Speaking about his time as a refugee, Lovren said: “I was a happy boy, I spoke German perfectly, I went to school, I played for a little club.”
His family, however, eventually had to leave as they did not possess necessary documentation to reside in Germany and settled in Karlovac, Croatia, 50 kilometres southwest of the capital city of Zagreb.
Lovren played for local teams NK Ilovac and NK Karlovac as a youth before joining GNK
Dinamo Zagreb in 2004.
In January 2010, Lovren signed for French Ligue 1 club Lyon for €8 million plus €1.5 million in incentives on a four-and-a-half-year contract – making his competitive debut on 24 January 2010 in their 2–1 defeat at AS Monaco in the Coupe de France, playing the full match.
After impressing over in France, he was then picked up by The Saints on 14 June 2013. Lovren signed for Southampton on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee, which was estimated at £8.5 million.
Lovren joined Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert as the third Southampton player to join the Reds in that same transfer window, with many more to come in the future, of course.
The Croatian struggled in his first season with Liverpool – The Telegraph included Lovren in a feature about the 2014–15 Premier League’s 20 worst signings which remarked on the number of his errors that resulted in opposition goals.
By the end of the following season under Jurgen Klopp, however, Lovren had been transformed to a “calm and composed” leader on the pitch.
In his time at Anfield, Lovren has helped the Reds reach three major finals in four seasons, including playing a key role on the road to Kiev forming an excellent partnership with January signing Virgil van Dijk.
Lovren has also had great success with his national team Croatia at the 2018 FIFA World
Cup – he was able to lead the side to the final overcoming stiff opposition on the way which
included Messi’s Argentina as well as a rejuvenated England side under the stewardship of
They came unstuck in the Final unfortunately losing 4-2 to France – this led to Lovren being named in the official team of the tournament on the back of his successes.
Reds fans the world over will be hoping that he can continue his upturn in form since January and carry his World Cup performances into the new season.