Joel Matip dribbling out from the back has become an almost iconic image of Liverpool’s season!
Since the Cameroonian won his spot back in the side, when Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez were out injured, he’s slowly grown in confidence alongside Virgil van Dijk and now the spot at the heart of our defence is very much his to lose.
If the Champions League Final were tomorrow, Matip would get the nod – which proves how well he’s done in 2019.
If you had any doubt about his capabilities, check out this compilation of his best bits this season.
Matip has discussed his role as a progressive, dribbling defender and has assured supporters that Jurgen Klopp is very happy with him doing it.
“I’m a defender but I really enjoy to have the ball in all situations,” he told the official website.
“We have the ball quite often and I try to help my team-mates and try to do something for the team to create something. I really enjoy it. I think it’s not bad if you enjoy the way you play.
“When I was young I tried to play from the back. I think that’s just the way I am, the way I play. Sometimes it helps and I hope that it will help our team.
“Maybe I should not do it every few minutes but I think he [Klopp] trusts me. If I step in and the risk is not too high and I can help the team then it’s helpful.”
Matip’s contract expires in 2020, but the information we’ve heard is that the club is now trying to extend it.
This makes perfect sense to us – as aged 27 – he’s about to enter his peak three of four years as centre-back.
With Van Dijk, we already have the best on the planet, and Gomez’s potential is jaw-dropping.
Lovren isn’t bad either when he’s next to our giant Dutchman, so in terms of central defensive options – we’re very well stocked!