Ragnar Klavan has been one of the real positives of the pre-season tour so far, for us.
The Estonian arrived with little fanfare, with most Liverpool fans not familiar with the former Augsburg defender before we signed him, but with injuries to Mamadou Sakho, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, he’s been a starter in America.
He’s played alongside Dejan Lovren as well, and following our unfortunate 2-1 defeat to Roma last night, Klavan was keen to praise his partner at the back.
“I’m satisified with this training camp – not the result today, of course – but we trained a lot, that was our main focus,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“It wasn’t just a a US tour where we just we play, like the manager said it was going to be hard work, and we did a lot of hard work.”
“Everything in this area is going good. My teammates are really, really nice guys, helping me a lot,” he added.
“Dejan as well is helping me to settle in on the field in the centre of defence. We have a good [relationship].
“I’m slowly getting used to it. It’s a different style than it was in the Bundesliga, but you adapt to it in training and in the games we played, [though] only one team was from England. But I’m slowly getting there.”
With Matip having missed our past four pre-season matches, and Sakho and Gomez set to still be injured in August, it’s Klavan and Lovren who we reckon will play against Arsenal upon the Premier League’s inception in two weeks’ time…
Lovren improved tenfold last term, but there are still doubts about his long-term suitability, while it’ll be interesting to see how Sakho reacts to being sent home from tour due to bad behaviour. Matip will want to be a starter too, so Klavan will need to maintain his friendly form if he’s to keep his spot in the XI.