Liverpool yesterday announced the signing of Ragnar Klavan, our fifth of the summer following deals for Marko Grujic (actually completed in January), Joel Matip, Loris Karius and Sadio Mane.
It’s fair to say not many Reds had heard of Klavan, despite the fact he played against us in the Europa League last season, but Jurgen Klopp’s known about the Estonian for some time…
“At the end of last season I knew that if we decided to take somebody in this position he was the one I wanted. Now I’m really happy with the options we have got at centre back,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“I’ve seen up close for three seasons how good his performances in Germany have been and last season we got chance to see him against us – and a lot in preparation – for our games against Augsburg.
“The last time he played against us at Dortmund they had 10 men and he defended really well to help them get a clean sheet and a win.
“He will bring us really good qualities with his defensive intelligence and ability on the ball and he is a left-footed player so will give us extra balance.
“I know that he is not only a very good player but the type of mentality and person who is coming here to fight and to win.
“He has had chances to move to some very big clubs but showed loyalty to Augsburg and now we’ve beaten some big teams for him to come here. I think he has made a great decision!”
Klopp’s quotes indicate that despite various links to centre-backs all over Europe, it was only ever Klavan he wanted after signing Joel Matip.
We’ve now got rid of Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure and brought in Matip and Klavan from the Bundesliga in their stead, while making a small profit in the process.
Skrtel was a liability and Matip’s a better defender; and despite Toure being a fan favourite, he’s approaching 36 and Klavan will provide us more more longevity as he enters his peak central defensive years.
The fact Klavan is left-footed is also handy, as it means we now have Mamadou Sakho and the former Augsburg man for the left centre-back role, and Matip and Lovren for the right centre-back role.