Date: 16th January 2015 at 6:03pm
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Brendan Rodgers has come to the defence of Liverpool’s £20million summer signing Dejan Lovren, backing the defender to prove why the Reds forked out big money for him in the summer.

Lovren has been out of the side with an injury sustained in the 3-1 win over Bournemouth in December.

The Croatian returned as a second half substitute in place of the injured Steven Gerrard during the win at Sunderland last weekend, and is in contention to replace the injured skipper at Vila Park this weekend.

And Rodgers has backed the 25-year-old to start proving his quality at Anfield.

“Dejan will prove in his time here that he is a very, very good player,” said Rodgers.

“It’s never easy to come in, you’ve seen it over many years at the big clubs, the players that come, some will settle in straight away, some will need that little bit of time.

“For a defender, he’s still very, very young as a central defender. But he, in his time here, will prove to be an outstanding player. He’s a good guy and whether he starts or comes on off the bench, he will do his best.

“This whole year’s experience for him as a Liverpool player will benefit him and over the coming months and years he will show what a top player he is.”