RAGNAR KLAVAN: LIVERPOOL SIGN ESTONIA DEFENDER FROM AUGSBURG
20 July 2016
Ragnar Klavan played for Augsburg against Liverpool in the Europa League last season.
Liverpool have signed defender Ragnar Klavan on a three year deal for 5m euros (£4.2 million) plus add-ons from German club Augsburg. The Estonia captain, 30, has 112 caps for his country and made more than 100 times for Augsburg after arriving from Dutch club AZ in 2012.
He is the Reds’ fifth summer signing. ”It’s been a dream of mine for 22 years to come to the Premier League and be a part of this amazing club,” he told the Liverpool official website. ”The Premier League is the most attractive league in the world and you always have amazing players here. This is the home of football.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had wanted to strengthen his central defensive options after Kolo Toure was released and Martin Skrtel sold to Fenerbahce. Frenchman Mamadou Sakho is also expected to miss the start of the season with an Achilles tendon injury.
Klopp has already signed Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius, Schalke centre-back Joel Matip, Red Star Belgade Marko Grujic and Southampton forward Sadio Mane this summer.
The last FCA player is back from the summer break: Alfred Finnbogason returned to team training on Monday. Beforehand, he gave up a little bit of time to talk about the European Championship with Iceland, his holidays and his expectations for the upcoming season.
Alfred, it was a few weeks ago now, but many congratulations for an incredible EURO 2016 with Iceland! Finnbogason: Thank you very much! It was really something special to achieve so much in our first European Championship. We only lost against France, and they have a very strong team. We are all very proud.
Then you went on holiday. What did you do? Finnbogason: I went to America with some friends and then I was in Italy with my girlfriend. I also spent a week in Iceland. It is very important after such a long season. Now I feel fresh again.
What are your goals for the new season? Finnbogason: Of course, I am always trying to improve and have another good season. I want to be a real goal threat and help FCA. Now I just want to prove that I am capable of that.
You score seven goals in the second half of last season. What do you expect from yourself in the coming season? Finnbogason: There is always pressure on you in football. I deal with this very well and I hope to score as many as possible. I really cannot wait for the season to begin!
FC Augsburg have experienced highs and lows since earning their first ever Bundesliga promotion in 2011.
___________________________________________ All you need to know about Die Fuggerstadter, FC Augsburg.
- The modest Bavarian outfit spent the best part of 30 years in the lower leagues before their first ever promotion to the top flight in 2011.
- Goalkeeper Marwin Hitz became only the third keeper to find the net from open play in Bundesliga history when he scored a last minute leveller against Bayer 04 Leverkusen in February 2015.
- Augsburg moved to the brand new WWK Arena, which opened as the Impuls Arena and was later renamed the SGL Arena, in 2009 after 58 years at the 28,000 capacity Rosenaustadion, which was built out of Second World War rubble.
Marwin Hitz’s goal against Leverkusen will live long in the memory of the Augsburg fans.
Having fluctuated between the second and third tiers of German football for much of their history, FC Augsburg have cemented their place in the Bundesliga over the last couple of years. Coach Markus Weinzierl was unable to recreate the club record fifth place finish from 2013/14 last term, though he steered the Bavarians to the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 before finishing five points clear of the drop domestically.
Augsburg coach Dirk Schuster is looking to continue the good work of Markus Weinzierl.
The winter acquisition of Alfred Finnbogason proved key, with the Iceland striker scoring seven goals in 14 Ruckrunde games. Weinzierl’s replacement Dirk Schuster helped SV Darmstadt 98 secure their own top flight survival last season, and repeating the feat at Augsburg seems a distinct possibility in 2016/17.
Stadium: WWK ARENA
Capacity: 30,660 Take a video tour of FC Augsburg’s WWK Arena: