It looks as though Joel Matip will continue his self-appointed absence from the Cameroonian national team over January, in order to keep his momentum with Liverpool.
The centre-half has started life excellently since his Bosman move from Schalke over the summer; slotting seamlessly into our backline alongside any centre-back Jurgen Klopp has paired him with.
He was good verses Tottenham and put in a truly cultured display at home to Leicester City last time out, too.
According to the 25-year-old, he’ll likely not accept an African Cup of Nations call-up if it came his way, even if it irritates the national manager.
“I would say at the moment I will be concentrating on Liverpool,” Matip told the Telegraph, when asked about if he’ll travel.
“It is a long time until January so you never know, but that is the idea.
“Last year I had injury problems. The extra games and travelling were going to make it harder for me. I had to listen to my body and it told me that the international week was the right time to have a break.
“I spoke with the Cameroon manager and he was not happy, but I have to do what is right to be 100% and make sure I am not injured again, especially at an important time in my career starting at Liverpool.”
While we’ll have Matip all season, we’ll unfortunately be without his team-mate Sadio Mane, who plays for Senegal. The winger is an automatic selection for his country and will miss key Liverpool games during January and February.
That’s when our large squad will really come into play.