Dejan Lovren remains determined to fight for his Liverpool future despite conceding that he considered ending his five-year stay in the summer.
Having fallen behind Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk in the Liverpool pecking order last season, Lovren seemed set for a summer exit.
The 30-year-old, who made just 18 appearances in the previous campaign, was close to a Serie A switch. AS Roma, in particular, looked to be in pole position for his signature before Liverpool rejected a loan offer.
While AC Milan never really pursued their interest despite Lovren confirming last month the Rossoneri had contacted him.
But things have suddenly picked up over at Anfield with a Matip knee injury and Gomez’s own struggles paving the way for Lovren to get some valuable game time.
In fact, should Matip not recover in time, the Croatia international could make his fourth start of the season in Sunday’s showdown with Premier League rivals Tottenham.
“I will always be here if I am needed,” Lovren said on Goal.
“I am giving more than 100 per cent for this club from day one. There are good days and bad days but six years is quite a long time. Everything, at the moment, is fine.
“Let’s see what will happen. It was a challenge for me this summer to stay here but I gave everything in pre-season and I fought.
“There are always some new challenges in front of you. It depends whether you accept them or not but it also depends on whether you are needed in the team or not.
“In the end, I stayed and I am quite happy.”
On his struggles to break into Jurgen Klopp’s plans, Lovren said: “That is part of the job, to work hard behind the scenes even if you don’t get a chance.
“I always believed in myself and giving 100 per cent on the training ground. The boss sees it and in the end, it is his decision who plays or not. I am a fighter.
“That’s the key point, to be patient. There are players who are patient and there are players who are not patient. Me? I am struggling! But it is part of the game and you need to accept it.
“You are fighting with yourself and your character. It is always about fighting and the fighting spirit.”
The Liverpool and Spurs match starts at 17:30 (CET) on Sunday.