Liverpool did not offer Kolo Toure a new contract and Martin Skrtel has completed a move to Fenerbache. Also, Mammdou Sakho and Joe Gomez are injured and will miss the beginning of next season. Hence, Liverpool were left with only two options at the centre back position, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip. Liverpool were in big trouble owing to lack of options at the centre back position. Injuries to any player would mean Klopp will have to field players from the youth team, but the signing of Estonian captain Ragnar Klavan has solved the issue. The 30-year-old completed a move from FC Augsburg on Wednesday in a deal worth 5 million pounds plus the add-ons. But ,how advantageous is this signing is?
Liverpool were in dire need of an experienced centre back when two of their most experienced players, Skrtel and Toure, left the club this summer. Klavan made his debut at the age of 15 and has so far made almost 450 club appearances and has 100 caps for Estonia. Klavan has a lot of experience and knows everything about defending. Klavan comes in as a direct replacement for Martin Skrtel, someone who can put his body on the line to not let the opposition go ahead. Klavan is very good in the air, a very important quality while playing in the Premier League.
Liverpool had a lot of problems while defending set pieces last season and Klavan can ease that problem. Klavan has great aerial strength and on an average, he won 3 aerial duels per game. Klavan’s experience helps him read the game well and he can intercept key passes. Klavan’s passing accuracy is great and he averaged 85% complete passes per match last season. Klavan is an experienced and composed centre back.
The problem with Klavan is his pace. Klavan has lost his speed, owing to age. And in the Premier League, it is very tough to survive as a defender if you are not fast. Opponents can exploit this weakness and that can lead to a lot of goal scoring chances. He has been at Augsburg for 4 years and he will take some time to adjust at Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he had his sights set on Ragnar Klavan. Klopp said that Klavan was his no. 1 target at the centre back position, having seen him give consistent performances for Augsburg. “At the end of last season I knew that if we decided to take somebody in this (centre back) position he (Ragnar Klavan) was the one I wanted. Now I’m really happy with the options we have got at centre back,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official site. Klavan is Estonia’s captain and he has good leadership qualities. In Klavan, Liverpool are getting a good package of experience, stability and a player with a winning mentality. Getting all this for the amount being spent is a great deal for Liverpool. All in all, Ragnar Klavan is a key signing for Liverpool.