Jurgen Klopp has taken time to praise his Bosman summer transfer Joel Matip.
Liverpool somehow snared the Cameroonian on a free transfer, but his performances in red so far have warranted someone worth well over £20m.
The rangy centre-back oozes composure, but he’s physically impressive too and makes consistently good decisions in the backline.
Klopp rates hims so highly that he suggests Liverpool would still have bought him if he required a transfer fee.
“If I was surprised that would mean I had some negative expectations and it was not like this,” Klopp told the Echo.
“From the first moment when we thought about him and we knew his situation, we knew his readiness to change club and come to Liverpool and all that stuff.
“We were convinced we would do it. We didn’t do it just because he didn’t cost a transfer fee. Not one second. That was only a nice plus. So that’s all.
“We are not surprised. We thought it would work like this and that is why you make transfers.
“All the rest is about the boy. He is very cool. Really cool. He’s not the most talking person, I would say. That all helps.
“He is very confident. In his first few weeks he said: ‘I think I can help the team’ and all that stuff, that was confident. That’s good. That’s what you need. The rest you need is quality and the help of your team-mates.”
In the ten Premier League matches the 25-year-old has played to date, we’ve conceded nine goals – which is decent considering Liverpool’s supposed ‘dodgy defence’. In our first two matches which he missed we let in five, which suggests he’s been a mighty positive influence.
Hopefully, Matip and Dejan Lovren can continue to develop their partnership which could grow into a mean centre-back pairing. Both can play, neither are scared of a battle and at 25 and 26 respectively, they’re about to enter their primes.
If we stop conceding goals, there’s no doubt we’ll be involved in the race for the title.