Dejan Lovren showing lack of respect
While most Saints fans can accept that some of the star performers will get big moves off the back of their turns for the club last season, they are finding it difficult to swallow the lack of grace with which some of them are going about it.
After Adam Lallana reportedly forced the club's hand to get his Liverpool move with strike threats and ultimatums, it looks like Dejan Lovren has decided to take a similar route to Merseyside after he spoke out in the Croatian media.
Lovren has just had a fantastic season in the heart of the Southampton defence following his move from Lyon last summer, and undoubtedly in my opinion he will thrive at a higher level, much like his former colleagues Luke Shaw and Lallana. No Saints fan could argue against the fact that his abilities mean he is someone who perhaps deserves to be on a bigger stage.
Unfortunately, like Lallana, the Croatia centre-back will now not go with the blessing of the fans who have supported him for the last year. Lovren has played his hand, complaining in an interview with Sportske Novosti that he is "upset" with Saints for not informing him of Liverpool's interest and for the club's lack of ambition. He included in the interview a quite damning statement given that no agreement has been reached between the two clubs: "My head is already at Liverpool."
That represents a hideous lack of respect from Lovren towards Saints, who gave him the platform to show his talents in the Premier League. It borders on petulant and ultimately childish.
Lovren, much like his former boss Mauricio Pochettino, seemingly has a short memory. He talked about wanting Champions League football -- something he had at previous club Lyon and something he was happy to give up for the apparent pay rise on offer at St. Mary's. The fact is that Lovren's stock was low in France and his spell at Lyon was littered with poor performances and mistakes. One Lyon fan at the time he moved told me: "I'm sorry for you, Chris -- Lovren is the worst defender we have ever had."
That is not to say that I think Lovren is a poor defender -- far from it -- but a year ago the club he now savagely disrespects were rescuing him from a difficult period in his career. I'm not naive enough to expect any form of loyalty from footballers anymore, and if Lovren feels he should be playing Champions League football then fine, but I don't think it is too much to ask that he might make the move with some humility and even a touch of gratitude to the club that re-launched brand "Dejan."