Dejan Lovren rejoins Lyon following a decade away after claiming he left the club 'with regrets'... as he vows to 'prove to everyone what a player I really am' following three-year spell in Russia
- Dejan Lovren has rejoined Olympique Lyon on a two-and-a-half year contract
- Lovren previously played 72 games for Olympique Lyon between 2010 and 2013
- He recently played an important role in Croatia's World Cup campaign in Qatar
- The central defender claimed he had initially left Lyon 'with regrets'
Croatia defender Dejan Lovren has rejoined Lyon on a two-and-a-half year deal the Ligue 1 side has announced.
He left Anfield as a Premier League champion in 2020 and has since spent the past three years playing for Zenit St Petersburg in Russia.
Dejan Lovren had returned to Lyon for a second spell on a two-and-a-half year deal
Lovren has welcomed the opportunity to return to Lyon, with the defender admitting he had left the club with regrets back in 2013.
'I am very happy to return to Olympique Lyonnais,' Lovren said. 'It was the club that opened the doors of international football to me, I will never forget that.
'I have many memories here, many links too, especially with President Jean Michel Aulas who has always supported me.
'I left Lyon in 2013 with regrets because I had the feeling that I hadn't shown everything. I want to prove to everyone what a player I really am.'
Lovren was an important member of the Croatia squad during the Qatar World Cup
The Ligue 1 side said Lovren has very experience at the highest level and boasts ‘all the characteristics desired by manager Laurent Blanc.
The move, which was overseen by the head of recruitment Bruno Cheyrou, was aimed at strengthening the club’s options in central defence.
Lovren has earned domestic trophies in four countries, a Champions League win and consecutive top three World Cup finishes.
The centre back has moved to the club immediately, having had six months left on his deal with Zenit St Petersburg.
Lyon said Lovren boasts all the characteristics desired by manager Lauren Blanc
Lovren issued a farewell message to the Russian Premier League club following his departure.
'I really enjoyed the 2.5 years in the most beautiful city in the world, Lovren wrote on Instagram. 'I will carry a lot beautiful memories in my heart forever. I can say proudly that I enjoyed being your captain.
'Me and my family want to say. Thank You to all the people we met here, all friendships we built. We will never forget you.
'Big thanks to all the people in the club, I will miss you. To my teammates and all the coaching staff, it was a privilege to play with you and to work with you. We will stay friends forever.
'I wish you good luck for the rest of the season, I know you can make it.'
Lyon have struggled so far this season and currently sit eighth in Ligue 1
It could be the boost Lyon need to get their season back on track, as they currently sit eighth in the league after 17 games.
They're already nine points off the Champions League places and 20 points off league leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
An experienced winner like Lovren could be a key influence if Lyon are to surge up the Ligue 1 table as the season progresses.
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