Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed that the Reds centre-back Dejan Lovren is world class.
The Croatia international has come in for heavy criticism for making some high profile errors since moving to Anfield from Southampton in 2014.
Despite many Liverpool fans still being concerned about whether Lovren has enough ability to succeed at the highest level, his manager seems to have a huge amount of faith in the defender.
Klopp has revealed that it was after one of the 28-year-old’s darkest days that he told the accident prone centre-half just how highly he rates him.
Earlier this season Liverpool was soundly beaten 4-1 by Spurs at Wembley with Lovren being at fault for the opening two goals and then substituted after just 20 minutes.
Now Klopp has revealed details of a heart to heart chat the pair had afterwards that he thinks has helped the player to improve hugely over the second half of this season.
“The Tottenham game I was angry. It wasn’t that I was saying, ‘boys, never mind it can happen, forget about it’. Not even one per cent of that. I was really angry.
“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.
“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 per cent. 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. 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 per cent a world class player.”