James Milner has established himself as a valued member of Jurgen Klopp’s squad at Liverpool, but their relationship didn’t get off to the best start. That’s according to former Reds defender Ragnar Klavan, who has opened up on how the Liverpool pair very nearly came to blows in a tense training ground row.
When Klopp took over from Brendan Rodgers in October 2015, there were already signs that Liverpool were heading in an upward projectory.
The German head coach still had plenty to do in order to turn things around, but he inherited a promising Liverpool squad with owners willing to back their manager.
Roberto Firmino, Joe Gomez and Milner had been signed that summer while Jordan Henderson was further establishing himself as the club captain.
In Klopp’s first summer transfer window, he brought in Georginio Wijnaldum, Joel Matip and Sadio Mane, along with Loris Karius and Klavan.
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His starting line-up was starting to take shape and there were promising signs at that stage that Liverpool were heading in the right direction under Klopp.
But the German head coach was coming under pressure during his first full season in charge and that seemingly boiled over in training sessions.
Klavan, who left Liverpool in 2018, told Betsafe Eesti Podcast: “The biggest pressure was around Christmas and at the beginning of January.