Who is Liverpool’s latest summer signing Ragnar Klavan?
With Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure moving on, Liverpool’s defence is entering a new era under Jurgen Klopp, as the German goes about preparing the Reds for a first-full season under his watch. Klopp’s latest aim is to welcome Ragnar Klavan to Anfield from Augsburg, but who is he?
A 30-year-old centre-half, Klopp will have seen plenty of the defender from his four year spell at the Bundesliga club.
Klavan began his career in his native Estonia, playing for Elva, Tulevik and Flora Tallinn as he steadily rose through the ranks.
A brief loan spell at Norwegian side Valarenga followed, before joining Dutch side Heracles in 2005.
Klavan quickly impressed in the Erevidise, and landed another move up the table with a loan spell at AZ in 2008-09.
Quickly settling in to and becoming a focal part of a side which would enjoy a 29-game unbeaten run, Klavan won the league that season under Louis van Gaal, with AZ conceding just 22 times.
He became a permanent signing that summer, turning into key player in Alkmaar’s domestic and European campaigns.
In 2012 it was time for a new challenge once again, as Klavan stepped up to the Bundesliga with Augsburg.
The team narrowly avoided relegation during his first season in Germany, but the left-footer shone in the following two campaigns as Fuggerstadter landed successive top-half finishes.
Klopp was clearly impressed from what he saw while Borussia Dortmund boss, and the Viljandi-native arrives on Merseyside having missed just 11 league games in the last four seasons.
Strong in the air, only three players made more clearances in the Bundesliga last season, while only new Liverpool colleague Joel Matip made more blocks than Klavan.
Comfortably on the ball too, the centre-half will already be familiar with the Reds, having played every minute of the Europa League round of 32 clash between Augsburg and Liverpool last season.
Estonia’s ninth-record appearance holder with 108 caps, Klavan has a wealth of experience, and has frequently shown his adaptability to new challenges.
Klopp has had plenty of opportunity to weigh up the 30-year-old for a potential move, and the Liverpool boss clearly likes what he’s seen.
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