Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says new signing Ragnar Klavan is a player he has had an eye on for a while, noting the defender’s intelligence and ability on the ball.
Klavan completed his move on Wednesday, in a deal worth a reported £4.2 million. The 30-year-old Estonian is most comfortable as a left-sided centre-back and is expected to provide cover/competition for Mamadou Sakho once the Frenchman returns to fitness.
Klavan is well known to Klopp from his time in Bundesliga and his appearances against both Dortmund and Liverpool were a factor in the move.
“At the end of last season I knew that if we decided to take somebody in this position he was the one I wanted,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Now I’m really happy with the options we have got at centre back.
“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.”
Klavan has been noted in the media as somewhat of a no-nonsense defender who sits deep, but that’s not the qualities Klopp sees him bringing to the team.
“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 noting Klavan being left-footed hints that the boss sees him and Sakho as his left-sided options, with Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip as his right-sided options.
Joe Gomez will then be able to deputise at full-back, possibly negating the need to sign a left-back this summer.