Jürgen Klopp has revealed that Liverpool summer signing Ragnar Klavan had been his desired defensive reinforcement since last season, having seen plenty of the centre-back throughout his time in the Bundesliga.
Klavan sealed a £4.2 million switch from FC Augsburg, where he had spent the previous four years, on Wednesday as he put pen-to-paper on a three-year contract on Merseyside.
A number of those seasons in Germany came while Klopp was still at the helm at Borussia Dortmund, the Estonia international leaving a lasting impression on the Reds boss.
Klavan - who registered over 30 appearances in all of his years in the Bundesliga - also came up against the Reds last term in the Europa League last-32, conceding only from the penalty spot across two legs.
Liverpool boss impressed by what he's seen of Klavan in past few years
On why he signed the 30-year-old, Klopp explained that "at the end of last season" he knew that if Liverpool "decided to take somebody in this position" then Klavan would be "the one I wanted."
"Now I'm really happy with the options we have got at centre-back," he continued, with Klavan adding to Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez as the club's main options at the back.
However, with the latter two currently injured and potential deputy Tiago Ilori missing the start of the season at the Olympics in Brazil, Klopp felt compelled to add strength in depth in defence.
He continued that he's "seen up close for three seasons" how good Klavan was in Germany and mentioned that last season Liverpool "got chance to see him against us and a lot in preparation" for their two-legged Europa League encounter with Augsburg.
Estonian brings "defensive intelligence", says Klopp
The German manager even referred back to "the last time" Klavan played against Klopp's Dortmund when Augsburg "had 10 men" and the player "defended really well to help them get a clean sheet and a win."
Klopp lauded the "really good" qualities that Klavan will help bring to the squad, including his "defensive intelligence" and his "ability on the ball." Hailing the fact he's "a left-footed player", Klopp said that he will give the defence "extra balance."
He also admitted that not only is Klavan "a very good player" but that he is also "the type of mentality and person" who will come to Liverpool in order to "fight and to win."
Klopp revealed that the defender had previously had "chances to move to some very big clubs" in the past but showed "loyalty to Augsburg."
"And now we've beaten some big teams for him to come here," Klopp continued, exclaiming: "I think he's made a great decision!"
Despite signing in time to feature, Klavan didn't make his first bow for the club's senior squad as they beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 in their fourth and final local pre-season friendly.
Instead, he will likely make his first appearance on the Reds' tour of North America. The squad fly out to California in the early hours of Thursday before a three-leg schedule sees them take on Chelsea, AC Milan and AS Roma.