Many will be surprised to learn that Liverpool’s Croatian defender Dejan Lovren has been named the best centre-back in the English Premier League, according to a study by the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) Football Observatory…
Statistically the former Dinamo Zagreb, Lyon and Southampton defender was ranked the 12th best in Europe in the study, which analysed five facets of the game; chance creation; take on; distribution; recovery and rigour. Only players who played at least 60 percent of domestic league minutes were included in the rankings.
Lovren has not had an easy first season at Anfield, constantly coming under attack from the club’s fans after some howling errors. The Croatian international was even dropped by coach Brendan Rodgers mid-season, but fought his way back into the side. The report did not take into account defensive errors, something which Lovren topped the Premier League in midway through the season.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo were ranked one and two in the strikers category, Luis Suarez close behind in third. Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez was rated the best attacking midfielder just ahead of Chelsea star Eden Hazard.