The centre-back makes £10m switch to join the Russian top flight.
According to a report from The Guardian, Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is set to join Zenit St Petersburg after completing a move worth 10m. The Croatian’s current contract was set to expire next summer before he opted to part ways with the Reds. In the light of his departure, the Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was full of praises for the Croat.
“Another Liverpool legend who leaves the club, because he was absolutely a very, very important part of this team from the first day since I was in.” “When he was fit, he was very, very, very often in the team. A great player and a great person. Really good, in the air a machine, and I really liked working with him.”
Lovren joined the Merseyside club in 2014 from Southampton – Liverpool’s expensive defender at that time before Virgil van Dijk broke the record. Lovren’s time at Anfield has often been scrutinized because of some inconsistent displays. Over the past two seasons, the 31-year-old lost his place in the line-up due to a string of injuries, with Klopp preferring the likes of Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip in the defence. Elsewhere, his international career has been a stark contrast, providing the helping hand for Croatia in the 2018 World Cup, where they eventually won the runners medal. Lovren has made 57 appearances for his national side.
Lovren’s team-mate, Liverpool’s star forward Mohammed Salah also bid an emotional farewell to the Croatian.
We’re really going to miss you a lot, especially me,” Salah said.
“You’ve been an unbelievable player and a great friend to me. We’re going to miss you a lot. I miss you a lot, I love you so much. You’ve been fantastic on and off the field. Thank you for everything you did for the club, [and] everything you did for me.
“I wish you all the best in the future and I wish you to have a great career as well, enjoying the new club with your family. Thank you very much and see you soon.”
The Reds have emphatically concluded the 2019/20 season, clinching the most-anticipated Premier League title after 30 years. Klopp’s impact at Liverpool has been magnificent, having led his side to win two trophies in back-to-back seasons – UCL title and the Premier League trophy.