LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 30, 2017: Liverpool's Ragnar Klavan celebrates scoring the winning second goal with a header with team-mate Dejan Lovren during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

New Year’s memories and OAP jokes as Liverpool squad pay tribute to “top pro” Ragnar Klavan

Ragnar Klavan completed his £2 million to Cagliari on Friday, and was left with a host of fond farewell messages from his former team-mates at Liverpool.

The Estonian has departed Merseyside after two years in Jurgen Klopp‘s squad, and clearly made a mark despite playing a low-profile role at the club.

His performances as backup centre-back saw Klavan rise to cult status at Anfield, and his exit came with Klopp’s blessing as he sought regular first-team football at 32.

Klavan has revealed how Alisson, Lucas Leiva and Mohamed Salah were among those to recommend a move to Serie A, but he was certainly not forced out at Liverpool.

As the Reds took to Instagram to pay tribute on his departure, it is clear that he had a big impact on the dressing room in his short spell.

Dejan Lovren, who regularly partnered Klavan at the back prior to Virgil van Dijk‘s arrival in January, recalled his ‘stolen’ goal against Burnley on New Year’s Day—and his influence off the pitch:

“I wish you all the best in your new club. You will be missed in our dressing room,” the Croatian wrote, later adding: “And remember You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

For James Milner, Klavan’s departure is bittersweet, as he now takes over the mantle as the oldest player in the Liverpool squad:

Both Milner and Klavan serve to underline that youth is not imperative under Klopp, as two of the fittest players at the manager’s disposal—a testament to their professionalism.

Klavan’s experience was clearly instrumental in aiding the younger players in the Liverpool squad, too, with Jordan Henderson, Marko Grujic and Gini Wijnaldum among those to mark his exit:

“We shared beautiful moments and achievements, and it was a pleasure being your team-mate,” Wijnaldum wrote. “All the best with your new adventure.”

Klavan was similarly hailed by supporters and journalists, who described the veteran as a “top professional” who garnered “absolute admiration” from the coaching staff at Melwood:

Liverpool former No. 17 could make his debut for Cagliari on Sunday, as they begin the new Serie A season away to Empoli.

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