Dejan Lovren hoping for successful Virgil van Dijk partnership at Liverpool

Dejan Lovren is hopeful he can strike up a successful partnership with Virgil van Dijk at the centre of Liverpool’s defence.

The £75m arrival of Van Dijk saw Lovren’s place in the side under threat, though rotation by manager Jurgen Klopp has ensured the first-choice central defensive pairing is yet to be determined.

Lovren and Van Dijk kept a clean sheet in Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Porto and have conceded just two goals when playing together, both against Tottenham in the Premier League.

“To be honest I didn’t expect that we would be so quick [to settle] together,” said Lovren. “But when you are a top centre-back I think it is normal and Virgil is one of them.

“Of course he needs some time to adapt because Southampton to Liverpool is different but he understands what the manager wants – although sometimes I have to remind him also.

“I help him as much as I know. It is a difficult period sometimes to adapt but he is managing it quite well.

“Everyone is behind him and giving him support.”

Joel Matip has played four times with Van Dijk and the pair have conceded five goals when playing together, also keeping one clean sheet.

Liverpool welcome West Ham to Anfield on Saturday, where victory would see them leapfrog rivals Manchester United to move into second place.