Dejan Lovren has completed his £10.9m transfer from Liverpool to Zenit St Petersburg on a three-year deal. The Croatia international departs Anfield as a Premier League, European and World Champion after six seasons and 185 appearances at the club.
Lovren moves to the Russian giants, who have secured the Double this season, with a guarantee of greater game time. Signed from Southampton in 2014 for £20m, thr 32-year-old had been on the verge of leaving Liverpool last summer but Jurgen Klopp convinced him to stay and provide depth in defence.
“He played super games and scored one of the most important goals of our history in the 4-3 against Borussia Dortmund; a really wonderful moment to share,” Klopp said of Lovren. “He had so many good games. Yes, I think he will not like the Tottenham game [October 2017] when I took him off in the first half, but it is part of football and part of development – and he always came back.
“When he was fit, he was very, very, very often in the team. A great player and a great person.”
Lovren made just 15 appearances for Liverpool during 2019-20, in part due to his struggle with injuries, as well as the performances of preferred centre-back pairing of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, with Joel Matip first to switch in for the latter. His final appearance for the club was in the goalless draw at Everton on 21 June.
“In the first part of the season until he got injured he was in the team and had super games. Absolutely super games,” Klopp said. “Really good, in the air a machine, and I really liked working together with him. It will be interesting to follow Zenit St. Petersburg now.”