Last season, Liverpool struggled in central defence.
That much is pretty much undeniable. At times, Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sakho and even Kolo Toure did well – but we never looked safe at the back – and were woeful defending set-pieces.
And a statistic has emerged, courtesy of LFC Data, which shows how important the 24-year-old Cameroonian could be at the back for us.
— LFC Stats (@LFCData) July 1, 2016
None of Sakho, Martin Skrtel, Lovren or Toure won as many tackles or headers as Matip – who led Schalke’s defence expertly in 2015/16. You can check out WhoScored for more in-depth analysis – but none of Liverpool’s current batch got close.
Matip is tall and possesses an awesome leap – so is an asset at set-pieces both defensively and offensively. Not only does he stop goals his end, but he contributes some of his own as well – registering 23 in total for the Germans since his 2009 debut.
What’s more, he’s calm on the ball, and will enable us to play out from the back and maintain possession.
In short, it’s a superb signing, and the fact we acquired Matip on a free exaggerates that. Even if he fails to adapt, we’ll still make a tidy profit.
But we’re confident the African will shore up our defence and prove a terrific acquisition.