It really hasn’t taken Joel Matip very long to get to grips with what makes the Premier League so special.
His understanding of the level of competition in England’s highest tier is perhaps why he has started his Liverpool career so promisingly, since his arrival in the summer.
Matip is taking no prisoners when it comes to Saturday’s game against a struggling Sunderland.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash, he told the Liverpool Echo: “You can’t just go out, take it easy, collect the points and go home. You have to work hard every game and do your job. You have to earn it.”
“There are no small clubs in the Premier League.”
“Every team has a lot of quality.”
Sunderland’s two wins on the trot mean they pose as more dangerous opponents that they perhaps would have been earlier in the season.
Coming to terms with the fact that anyone can beat anyone in the Premier League, is vital for any foreign player moving to a top team in England. We are fortunate enough to have a player in Matip, that has already realised this.
The centre-back has conquered a number of talented strikers so far this season, but he faces a new challenge in the form of Jermain Defoe.
Succeeding in achieving fresh goals and improving on specific areas of the game is something that has seen Jurgen Klopp’s men maintain such high performance levels each week.
Defoe’s threat as a prolific goalscorer represents Matip’s new challenge. It stands as a chance to see how he approaches combating the movement and the scoring prowess of a top Premier League forward, who is looking to carry his relegation-threatened team.
A potentially tough game, but one that Matip and his teammates are more than capable of dominating.