Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann has got Liverpool fans even more excited about the summer arrival of Joel Matip after waxing lyrical about the Cameroonian centre-back.
Fahrmann has not only named the 24-year-old his club’s best player, but also claimed that only Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng is a better centre-back in the entire Bundesliga.
Praise indeed when you consider Mat Hummels and Javi Martinez also ply their trade in Germany…
“He’s our best player and one of the best centre backs in Germany,” Fahrmann told football blog The Set Pieces.
“I think Jerome Boateng is the best [centre back] in the league but I think he comes straight after or even level with him.”
Matip is joining Liverpool permanently in the summer, with the club securing a Bosman deal for the defender whose Schalke contract expires at the end of this season.
Liverpool have a plethora of centre-backs right now, with Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, Kolo Toure and Steven Caulker all fighting for a start – while Lucas is also comfortable here and Joe Gomez will want minutes when he returns from injury.
Upon Matip’s arrival though, some of those will surely make way. Toure’s contract expires and Caulker’s loan deal won’t be made permanent, but there might not be room for Sakho, Skrtel and Lovren and the incoming African.
Currently Sakho starts alongside Lovren and our defence has improved tenfold in recent months, so it’ll be interesting to see how Klopp will choose to line up his defence going forward.
Matip is tall, strong, technically capable and scores the odd goal too. On a free, his transfer was smart business – and we only hope he lives up to Fahrmann’s billing.