Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed he picked Kolo Toure over Dejan Lovren against Arsenal because of the Ivorian’s commitment.
£20 million signing Lovren has suffered a difficult spell at Liverpool since joining from Southampton in the summer and despite being fit for the Reds eventual 4-1 defeat at the Emirates, he was overlooked for a start despite the key absence of Martin Skrtel.
Instead, veteran centre-back Kolo Toure began in his stead and was nothing short of abysmal.
However, Brendan Rodgers has since defended his selection claiming Toure’s mentality meant he was more worth of a start than the likes of Lovren.
“The thing with Kolo is he gives me everything every single day so I know what I am going to get with him,” said Rodgers when asked why the Reds big-money defender Lovren failed to start agains the Gunners, according to the Guardian.
“Dejan was obviously out over the international break but now he is fighting well and looking strong. He will be in contention for the Cup game for sure.”
Liverpool’s top four hopes suffered a serious hit following the defeat to Arsenal – and Man United before the international break – and Rodgers will be hoping to turnaround their slump in form against Blackburn in an FA Cup quarterfinal replay at Ewood Park on Wednesday.
But even with the enforced absences of Emre Can and Martin Skrtel through suspension, Lovren isn’t guaranteed to start that match with Glen Johnson also vying for a starting place.
“You bring players in with all the intentions of them doing well. What you cannot vouch for is when they come into a club of this size how long that adaptation process is going to take. You’ve seen that over many years at this club,” said Rodgers.
“You can be a very good player and not hit it off for some reason or it just takes time, like Lucas Leiva. It didn’t quite happen for him early on in his Liverpool career but he ended up doing well and the supporters appreciate the role he plays.
“It’s just unfortunate because these players need time and you don’t get that in modern football. We had a big influx of players coming in last summer so it was always going to be difficult for them all to hit it off straight away but I think you can see the progress that has been made. It just takes a bit of time.”