Who is new Liverpool signing Ragnar Klavan?
By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 20/07/16 12:44pm
Liverpool have signed Augsburg centre-back Ragnar Klavan - but who is the Estonian defender?
Here, we profile Klavan and look at what he'll bring to Liverpool…
Club signed from: Augsburg
International caps: 108
Klavan kicked off his career with Estonian side Elva in 2001 at the age of 15 and went on to win the league and domestic super cup with Tallinn-based Flora in 2003.
He then spent seven seasons in the Netherlands' top flight with Heracles Almelo and AZ, winning the Eredivisie title with the latter under Louis van Gaal in 2008/09 after joining on loan in January ahead of a permanent summer switch.
During the second half of the 2008/09 season, Klavan formed a key part of the meanest defence in the division and helped AZ on a club-record 28-game unbeaten run.
Klavan moved on to the Bundesliga in 2012 with Augsburg, where he has become a mainstay in their backline, making over 30 league appearances in each of his four seasons in Germany.
The defender came up against Liverpool in the Europa League round of 32 last season, keeping a clean sheet in Germany before losing the second leg at Anfield 1-0 through a James Milner penalty.
Klavan has been an Estonia international for 13 years since making his debut in the Baltic Cup against Lithuania in 2003 and has racked up 108 appearances for his country, wearing the captain's armband since 2012.
In October 2014 he was sent off 48 minutes into Estonia's Euro 2016 qualifier with England, picking up a second yellow for bundling Fabian Delph to the ground. England went on to win that match 1-0 thanks to a Wayne Rooney free-kick and Klavan suffered another defeat to the Three Lions at Wembley the following year, playing the full 90 minutes of a 2-0 loss.
What's his style?
At 6ft 1in, Klavan is a powerful, left-footed player, strong in the air and ranked fourth in terms of clearances per game (5.8) of Bundesliga centre-backs to have made over 20 appearances last season.
He has also shown he isn't afraid to put his body on the line - only new Liverpool defender Joel Matip made more blocks than Klavan in the German top flight.
However, Klavan is comfortable with the ball at his feet, too. He was tied for 25th in the Bundesliga for passing accuracy in 2015/16, with his 85.3 per cent success rate superior to Premier League figures for Dejan Lovren (84.6 per cent) and Kolo Toure (81.5 per cent) and equal to Martin Skrtel.
Klavan has been named Estonian footballer of the year three times - including in each of the last two years.
What role will he play at Liverpool?
With Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez sidelined with injury, Tiago Ilori set for Olympic duty with Portugal and Toure and Skrtel departed from the club, Klopp is short on centre-back options for the start of the new Premier League season.
Given his Champions League, Europa League and top-flight experience, Klavan looks like he would be a reliable squad player at Anfield.
Did you know?
Klavan missed out on a previous move to the Premier League when he failed to make the grade during a trial with Sunderland as a teenager.