Nicol: 'Klavan is no Beckenbauer but he can aid Liverpool's title bid'
Ragnar Klavan can help Liverpool to sustain a Premier League title bid, in the opinion of former Reds midfielder Steve Nicol.
The Estonia centre-half has been drafted into Jurgen Klopp’s side over recent weeks, on the back of a defensive collapse in a 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth.
He has figured in Liverpool’s last three top-flight fixtures, helping them to collect seven points.
The Reds have also picked up successive clean sheets in victories over Middlesbrough and Everton.
Klavan was rarely troubled during a 1-0 derby win at Goodison Park on Monday, and Nicol believes he adds qualities to Klopp’s ranks that can keep them in contention for major honours.
He told ESPN FC: “When you saw the way Liverpool performed in this game [against Everton], never under any pressure whatsoever, they looked like a side who are actually going to contend for the title.
“We know what the weakness is – at the back. But if they can keep the ball as much as they had [at Goodison] in every game, if they can be as solid as they were…
“Klavan is not a Franz Beckenbauer. He’s a square head that makes no mistakes, there’s no drama. He gets the job done. That’s all Liverpool need to do defensively – that’s all Chelsea do.”
Liverpool still boast the best goal-scoring record in the Premier League, having netted 41 times in their 17 fixtures to date.
No side in the top seven has conceded more goals than the Reds, though, with Klopp’s men breached on 20 occasions.
With the back door bolted in their last two outings, Liverpool will be hoping for more of the same as they round off the calendar year with back-to-back home dates against Stoke City and Manchester City.