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Klavan dismisses suggestions of Liverpool leadership void

Ragnar Klavan insists Liverpool do not have a lack of leaders in their team and discussed his transition to the Premier League.

ragnarklavan - Cropped
Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan

Liverpool's inconsistencies since the turn of the year are not due to a leadership void in the team, Ragnar Klavan insists.

The Reds were challenging for honours on three fronts heading into 2017, but were knocked out of the EFL Cup semi-finals by Southampton and the FA Cup by Wolves, while just three Premier League wins in the calendar year has derailed their title bid.

There have been signs of improvement in recent matches with those three league wins – which include the scalps of Tottenham and Arsenal – coming in their past four matches, a 3-1 reverse to a resurgent Leicester City the only blot in that run.

It had been suggested that part of Liverpool's downturn was due to a lack of leaders in the team, that they missed the likes of former talismanic captain Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.

But Klavan dismissed that notion and says there are multiple ways to inspire team-mates.

"There are different ways to lead a team," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"Everybody talks to me about Steven Gerrard. He wasn't the kind of person who was just on the field screaming and yelling at everybody. He had other qualities that could motivate a team. When he had something to say his words were spot on.

"It doesn't make you the best captain simply because you are the loudest. There are many different styles and you must remember that it's not just how you are on the field but how you are in the locker rooms that can make you a leader or a good captain.

"I'm not the loudest guy in the locker room or on the pitch. If I need to say something when it needs saying then I don't yell. I prefer to tell people one on one what I think about a situation."

Klavan joined Liverpool from Augsburg in the close-season and has made 15 league appearances so far.

The 31-year-old says the most difficult thing about the transition from the Bundesliga to the Premier League is the strength in competition throughout the league, with Liverpool losing to the likes of Burnley, Bournemouth, Hull City and Swansea City this term.

"It was a reality check for me," he added. "I realised then how intense the Premier League is.

"The Bundesliga is also intense and players have high fitness levels. But whereas there you can anticipate tactics and how things might go, when a game gets going here it's forwards, backwards, forwards, backwards, and anything can happen.

"This is one of the things that makes the Premier League so special and the most watched league in the world."

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