Liverpool are still undefeated in any competition with Joel Matip in the side. With Christmas round the corner, that’s a pretty impressive record for a summer signing who’s been an automatic pick when fully fit.
We acquired the Cameroonian international from Schalke on a Bosman free transfer and he’s been nothing short of a revelation, in fairness.
Against West Ham last time out, he was unfortunate to be wrong-footed by a deflection for their second, but was otherwise faultless.
In fact, we’ve not had a centre-back like Matip, tall, rangy and composed, since Sami Hyypia.
The legendary Finn was a cornerstone of our success at the beginning of this Millennium and sees a lot of Matip, still only 26, in himself.
“I knew him from Germany, I think I played against him and then managed Leverkusen when he was at Schalke,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“He’s a good player. He’s a big guy, dominant player, very comfortable on the ball and that’s a big piece of how the team plays.
“When you want to play football, you need to have somebody who is comfortable on the ball and on the other hand a strong defender.
“His style of play is that he is comfortable on the ball but I think that comes from confidence, he is very confident that he can play football.
“If you want to see similarities, I think there are some – but I think he’s a bit quicker than me!”
We can see Matip starting under Jurgen Klopp at the heart of our defence for years to come, and it’ll be interesting to see who emerges as his partner long-term. Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez or a potential new signing are all candidates. Hopefully, Gomez could be the Jamie Carragher to Matip’s Hyypia!