Ragnar Klavan has again outlined his reputation as a great team player at Liverpool, vowing to give his all regardless of his squad status.
Since joining the Reds from Augsburg in the summer of 2016, Klavan has slowly become a crowd favourite and cult hero at Anfield.
His unassuming style of play and likeable character make him easy to warm to, and his last-gasp winner at Burnley on New Year’s Day was his best moment yet in a Liverpool shirt.
The arrival of Virgil van Dijk has seen the 32-year-old’s game time limited, however—his only start this year was against the Clarets—with the club’s record signing also a left-sided centre-back.
Despite Klavan being pushed down the pecking order, he says he is content with the current situation, and will never kick up a fuss.
“It’s never, for me, that I only feel good when I’m first choice or whatever, Klavan told LiverpoolFC.com.
“For me, if I sign for a club then I do it for the club, whatever is needed, you always have different situations.
“It is different, this is a big club, nobody—first of all, because of how intense the Premier League is; second of all because of Europe and cup games—plays all the games.
“That’s why you need a bigger squad to fill all the positions and everywhere you need to have quality. For me, it’s always been what’s best for the team.
“It’s the way I am as a person as well, I never get restless when I don’t play one game or whatever reason it is that I’m not playing because it’s a really heavy competition and you need to have a bigger squad.”
Clearly a very driven individual, Klavan revealed he never stopped believing about earning a move to a huge club—something that came to fruition late in his career.
“I’m the kind of person who thinks that it’s never too late. I was kind of a late bloomer as well so this was my dream, my aim, and I was working for it every day,” he added.
“I got the move when I was 30 years old but it [wasn’t like] when I was 28 or 29 I did less work and was thinking, ‘OK, I do less now, maybe I won’t make it to England’.
“I always believed in myself and the chance that I had. When I retired, I wanted to look back and know that was it, I gave my everything, I’m fine with it either way.
“But I kept on working and I got this wonderful chance to come here.”
Prior to Van Dijk joining, there was actually a strong argument to say that Klavan was Liverpool’s most in-form central defender.
Part of him must be cursing that he can’t thrive on the right-hand side.