Liverpool’s backup defender Ragnar Klavan has admitted that he doubts himself, which Jurgen Klopp once said held him back from being a great centre-back.
“He could be much more confident with his skills. That’s his only little problem, if you want – that he doesn’t know how good he actually is,” the boss said in December.
But our ageing Estonian doesn’t consider it a weakness and believes his introverted personality enables him to play calmly on the pitch.
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot… but I think it wouldn’t be Ragnar Klavan anymore,” the CB told the official website when asked about his manager’s comments.
“I’ve always kind of struggled with myself, being maybe too shy.
“It has its plusses and minuses, as with everything; this is maybe why I’m so calm always in games.
“When I was younger, people and coaches told me, ‘You have to be this and that’. I kind of never changed and kept on doing what I was doing and that’s who I am, it’s me.
“Everybody in the world is unique and that’s me – all the good and all the bad.”
Since Virgil van Dijk was eligible to start games, Ragnar Klavan hasn’t been selected from the outset by Klopp – only playing six minutes at the end of the epic Manchester City win.
Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip are also ahead of him in the pecking order, meaning it’s unlikely we’ll see much more of the 32-year-old before the end of the season.
But as a backup centre-back, we think he’s a solid, experienced, reliable option.
He lacks pace, but reads the game well and passes crisply with his left foot.
We hope Klavan stays beyond this summer, as he’s a top professional and will set a fantastic example in training and the dressing room, too.