Jurgen Klopp arrived at Liverpool mid-way last season following the sacking of Brendan Rodgers. The current Celtic manager did a commendable job during his time at Anfield but after a point, he seemed bereft of any new ideas, hence the Liverpool board decided to prematurely end his contract and bring fan favourite Klopp to Merseyside. The German showed us glimpses of what he can bring to the club and with a full pre-season under his belt now, big things will be expected of him. Having already made four additions to his squad, Klopp is looking to reinforce his defence after injuries to Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez and the departures of Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel.
Liverpool are closing in on a £4.2million deal for FC Augsburg defender Ragnar Klavan. The Estonian international caught the German manager’s eye during Liverpool’s last 32 knockout round win against Augsburg in the Europa League last season. Standing 6 ft 1 in tall, Klavan will be a perfect replacement for Martin Skrtel’s aerial domination in the box. The 30-year-old is an experienced defender, having made more than 100 appearances for his country and club.
Klavan is also a very good player and loves bringing the ball out of the backline, something Liverpool’s other defensive target Subotic is very comfortable with. Although he is a centre-back by trade, he is also capable of playing as a left-sided full-back. Before facing Klopp in the Europa League, Klavan spoke highly of the German manager and called him an excellent coach. Klopp has been following the defender since his days in the Bundesliga and will represent a fine piece of business if Liverpool do manage to get him.
Klavan actually began his playing career as an attacking midfielder, following in the footsteps of his father Dzintar, who also represented the Estonian national team. He has been one of the stalwarts in Augsburg defence and he played every single minute of the club’s best ever campaign, as they finished fifth in the table in 2014-2015.
Klavan was previously pursued by Liverpool’s arch rivals Everton, however, nothing worked out then. He is a longtime admirer of Arsenal, against whom he could make his debut on August 14th if he does decide to move to England. He started his career at FC Elva in Estonia before spells with Tulevik and Flora. After a loan stint at Valerenga in Norway, he made a permanent move to Dutch club Heracles Almelo in 2005. In 2009 he signed for AZ Alkmaar, where he helped them clinch the title. It was only in 2012, that the defender moved Augsburg, where he quickly became a key member of the team.
Klavan is a strong and intelligent player, who will bring a lot of quality to the Liverpool defence, which is in desperate need of new additions.