Garth Crooks has deemed Joel Matip’s impressive performance against Southampton as the latest sign that something special is in the making at Liverpool.
The centre-back was handed his first start of the season on Saturday as Joe Gomez was afforded a valuable rest amid his outstanding run of form.
Matip played the full 90 minutes at Anfield as he continued his comeback having missed large parts of the 2017/2018 campaign through injury.
An encouraging outing was capped with a goal in a 3-0 win that extended Liverpool’s 100% record and saw them leapfrog Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table.
Crooks has named Matip in his BBC Sport Team of the Week and believes his bright impression is a major sign of the Reds’ unit behind the scenes.
He said: “Something quite special is brewing at Anfield – I can feel it. When you have players who are out of the side and desperate to get in, and when they do they perform like they were never away, you know something is going on.”
“Joel Matip was that player. The smile on his face when he scored his goal – not to mention the camaraderie between himself and Joe Gomez, two players competing for the same shirt – speaks volumes about the harmony within the dressing room. If I was Jose Mourinho I would be very concerned by all this.”
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Matip’s opportunity to play beside both Virgil van Dijk and Gomez, who replaced the injured Dutchman in the second half, was a useful test of his form and familiarity with his teammates.
His unnerved and composed display served as another reminder of the strength in depth Jurgen Klopp has at his disposal across the club’s busy schedule.
It was also timely reassurance for the German of his luxury to rotate, potentially starting with Wednesday’s League Cup clash with Chelsea.
Having teased so much promise in his debut season with the Reds, Matip will now be hoping to rediscover the form he needs in order to compete with Gomez.