With the news that we’ve snapped up the German-born Cameroon international Joel Matip on a free transfer, we take the chance to take a look at five things you probably didn’t know about the 24-year-old.
1) He’ll be the tallest player in our squad…
Standing at 6 foot 4 inches (193 cm), Matip will become the tallest player in the Liverpool squad.
Given how woeful we’ve been at defending set pieces this season, the fact we are adding a bit of height comes as very welcome news.
Klopp has clearly identified the problem – the second tallest player in our squad will be fellow summer arrival Marko Grujic who stands at 192 cm.
2) He’s versatile…
Matip’s natural position is at centre back where he is a physically and commanding presence, but did you know that he’s equally adept in defensive midfield?
It’s a place we’ve been lacking in since the start of the Rodgers era, with Lucas being our only natural defensive mid since… Christian Poulsen?!
Matip has clearly been bought with the back four in mind, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him start some games slightly further up the pitch.
3) He comes from a footballing family…
Matip could have represented Germany at international level after being born in Bochum, but he instead opted to represent Cameroon, the home of his father.
In doing so he followed in the family footsteps – his older brother Marvin Matip (currently at FC Ingolstadt 04) has been capped once for the African side, while his cousin Joseph-Desire Job (who played for Middlesbrough between 2000 and 2006) has 52 caps for the side.
4) He scored against Brazil in the World Cup…
Cameroon were pitted in a tough group for the 2014 World Cup, as they came up against the perennially strong Mexico, host nation Brazil, and Euro heavyweights Croatia.
The side went home after losing all three games, but Matip grabbed a moment to saviour when he scored an equaliser against Brazil in the final group game. Cameroon went on to lose 4-1, and that turned out to be their only goal of the entire tournament.
5) He’s beaten Klopp in a cup final…
Although he’s not had a silverware-laced career so far, he has picked up both the 2010/11 DFB Pokal and the 2011/12 DFL-Supercup.
The latter of those two trophies came thanks to a victory over none other than Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund side. The game ended 0-0 after 90 minutes and went straight to penalties, with Schalke taking a 4-3 win after scoring all their kicks.
Perhaps that was the moment Klopp decided he wanted him!?