As soon as he got the opportunity, Jurgen Klopp moved to sign Joel Matip on a free from Schalke, with the Cameroonian completing his Bosman deal in the summer.
The fact we got him without having to pay a transfer fee is amazing, because he was Liverpool’s first-choice central defender upon Jurgen Klopp’s appointment…
This much he told fellow German Emre Can, who is no doubt enjoying having another native speaker in the squad.
“Matip is very good for the side. He’s very good on the ball. He was a leader at Schalke and played many years there. I think you need a player like him,” Can told Liverpool’s official website.
“[Klopp] said to me last year that he always said when he was at Dortmund that when he was at another club he would buy Matip. He liked him a lot and that’s why he brought him here to Liverpool.”
Schalke and Dortmund were bitter rivals in the Bundesliga, so he wasn’t able to snare him for BVB, but now has the chance to build an improved backline around the 25-year-old.
Matip is expected to start alongside Dejan Lovren in Liverpool’s first-choice centre-back pairing this term, with Ragnar Klavan backup and Mamadou Sakho frozen out for the time being.
He’s done very well in his two appearances so far, versus Burton and Spurs – but he’ll need to be similarly on his game for the visit of Premier League champions Leicester City next weekend.