Jurgen Klopp explains why Dejan Lovren is a “world-class” defender

Liverpool FC

has certainly received criticism from supporters in the past, however Jurgen Klopp made clear how much of a fan he is of the defender.

Lovren, who signed for Liverpool from in 2014, hasn't always endeared himself to supporters, with good outings often followed by patchy form full of mistakes.

Liverpool manager alluded to the Reds' 4-1 defeat to Tottenham at Wembley last October, when he was forced in to substituting Lovren after just 31 minutes played, following two fatal mistakes early on.

In an interview with Robbie Fowler, which has been serialised in the Mirror, Klopp admits he was left angered by the Croatian's performance, but also believes he is a “world-class” centre-back:

“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,” Klopp said.

“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].

Dejan Lovren

Getty Images

“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.”

The horror showing against Spurs early in the season looked like being an end to Lovren's Liverpool career at one point, however the 28-year-old has stepped up when needed this season, helping them to reach the final against on Saturday.

Dejan Lovren

Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Klopp says he is able to handle the pressure and take the blame for his players when needed.

“I can take the pressure, I really can take it. I don't know why, but I can take the pressure,” he added.

“Another little agreement with my players: for the good performance, they are responsible. For the bad performance, I am responsible. That is really important.

“Football players need someone around who is there for them in the decisive moments, and I really feel that is my job to do.”

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