In fairness, we couldn’t name any brilliant Schalke defenders from the 1980s, so we’re not holding a grudge against Joel Matip for this!
After all, Sadio Mane recently claimed his Premier League hero was El Hadji Diouf, so perhaps the new signings need to read some Liverpool history books, or at least do some googling…
The Cameroonian, who has been a revelation since arriving in the summer, has admitted to never having heard of Alan Hansen, the man whose style and grace he’s reliving in Liverpool’s backline.
Despite not costing a penny, Matip has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water, oozing calmness on the ball and displaying a technical ability which belies his rangy figure – much like the great Scot 30-odd years ago.
“I am a calm person. I am not someone who is always shouting on the field. I try to keep my composure.” he said.
“I can’t do it always. Sometimes I can get a bit angry, especially if a decision I want doesn’t go my way!
“But I do try to stay calm on the field. It helps you to make the right decisions.”
In the 11 games Matip has started in all competitions, we’ve conceded nine goals – and our defence will continue to improve thanks to his presence.
“The beginning for me wasn’t the best,” he said.
“I had the problem with my foot in pre-season but since then it’s gone well. I have played a lot of games and I hope it will continue like this.
“It’s an honour and a joy to play for Liverpool. It’s a great club. I’ve been able to help the team get some good results and I am really happy to be here.
“The biggest difference compared to the Bundesliga is that there are so many teams playing for the title. There is so much quality.”
On Hansen, Matip was apologetic, but promised to help make some Liverpool history of his own!
“I’m sorry, I have to say I haven’t heard of him,” Matip said.
“But I know this club has won many trophies in the past and has had many great defenders.
“It’s an honour the fans have welcomed me so much and that they appreciate my game play. Knowing I have the supporters behind me is a pleasure.
“But I still have to improve. I hope I can continue to make the supporters proud.
“We are trying to make some history but we have to work really hard for this. It’s a long season, we will give our best and then we will see what we can achieve.”