1 Sept 2016

Legend blasts: 'Fantastic' Klopp signing isn't good enough for 'Liverpool' and must 'get better'. Agree?

If there's one thing that's guaranteed under Jurgen Klopp it's this: Liverpool players will suffer injuries on a regular basis, and with only three games of the season played, that's proving to be the case yet again. Ragnar Klavan is the latest Reds defender to be struck down (with a 'knee injury') but according to Arsenal legend Martin Keown, the Estonian won't be missed as he's (apparently) not really good enough for LFC.

Speaking to the BBC this week, Keown claimed that Klavan has exacerbated Liverpool's 'defensive problems', and insisted:

"Klavan does not seem to be at the same level as Skrtel or Toure, let alone an improvement. To stay in Liverpool's defence, he is going to have to get better quickly".

The implication that Klavan is not good enough for Liverpool is, in my view, utter nonsense:

* Statistically, the Estonian is the Reds' second most effective defender this season (behind Lovren).

* At 91.5%, Klavan's passing accuracy is the best in the entire squad.

* Only defender in LFC's squad who hasn't been dispossessed and/or lost the ball due to poor control.

* Concedes fewer fouls than Clyne, Moreno, Lovren, and Matip.

* An argument can be made for his (indirect) culpability in a couple of conceded goals, but the club's poor full-back play is the root cause of the team's defensive issues this season.

* Additionally, LFC's defensive unit is in flux, so settling into a constantly changing back-four is a challenge in and of itself.

* Encouragingly, Klavan doesn't appear to be the type of player to make Moreno-esque mistakes that lead directly to goals. Indeed, he hasn't made a single goal-creating mistake in the last five years.

It's early days yet, but Klavan's composure on the ball, and generally solid defensive play are a positive feature of his first two competitive games. He may not be a Carragher or a Hyypia, but for £4.2m, the risk vs. reward factor is very much in Liverpool's favour.

* July 2016: Hailed by Estonia's manager as a 'fantastic player'


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