Who is new Liverpool signing Ragnar Klavan? Here’s all you need to know

Liverpool have announced the signing of a relative unknown to most British fans.

However, 30 year-old centre back Ragnar Klavanhas played his football in his homeland of Estonia as well as the Dutch Eredivisie and the German Bundesliga.

The Estonian international, who arrives from Augsburg for €5m, has signed a three-year deal and he will fill the gap in the squad that was left by the sale of Martin Skrtel to Fenerbahce and Kolo Toure being released.

Klavan is a player that Klopp knows well, given he has spent the last four years of his career in the Bundesliga and is seen primarily as defensive cover.

The defender with 108 Estonia caps spent seven years playing in Holland before that. He moved from Estonian side FC Flora to Heracles Almelo in 2005, before switching to AZ Alkmaar in January 2009.

Klavan then won the Dutch title with AZ Alkmaar, managed by ex-Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal, months after signing for the Alkmaards.

During the second half of the 2008/09 season, Klavan was part of the meanest defence in the Dutch league as AZ went on a record breaking 28 game unbeaten run.

The Estonian signed for Augsburg in 2012, making 125 appearances before his summer move to Anfield.

Klopp’s need for defensive reinforcements became even more pressing with the news that Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez will both be forced to sit out the start of the new Premier League campaign.

Klavan, who impressed against Liverpool in the Europa League last season, is ready to join the squad on their pre-season tour of the United States.

Powerfully built, standing 6 ft 1 inches tall and dominant in the air, Klavan is solid in the tackle as well as being exceptionally reliable. On average last season he made less than one foul per match, and picked up just two bookings. Although he has played almost exclusively as a centre-back for his current club, FC Augsburg, he is also capable of playing as a left-sided full-back, and is efficient at bringing the ball out of defence.

The three-time Estonia Player of the Year has an all-round game that means he can provide adequate cover for Liverpool this season. Although he is comfortable with the ball at his feet, he doesn’t forget about his defensive duties and regularly puts his body on the line to make important blocks.

Another plus point for Liverpool fans is that the Estonian turned down Merseyside rivals, Everton last summer. It was a dream for Klavan to play for a Premier League club, but he wanted one that played in Europe, which is strange as Liverpool are taking time out of European competition. However, supposedly the name was enough and a major contributing factor.

He won’t be a regular at Anfield, but he will be dependable. His disciplinary record is exemplary too. He has only been sent off once in his club career and, during his time at Augsburg, Klavan only missed two games due to suspension while last season saw him pick up just three bookings.

“I think he has most of what you ask from a central defender – he is calm with the ball, he can build up well, he’s fast, he’s good in the air, he can tackle,” Estonia boss Magnus Pehrsson told ESPN FC. “I think he’s a complete defender.”

Klavan’s move to the Premier League sees him achieve a long-held ambition to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Mart Poom and who is to say that if he performs like everyone says he can, he may oust Lovren and become an important asset to the leaky Liverpool defence.

 


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