Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has bizarrely suggested Jurgen Klopp is simply playing Joel Matip alongside Virgil van Dijk for now.
I get what he’s trying to say – Joe Gomez is clearly being readied to step in alongside the colossus, but the Cameroonian isn’t playing against Arsenal for a laugh.
Matip has arguably been our best defender since the tail end of last season – a big of a left-field take, I know, but actually think about it.
Anyway, the former Manchester United man suggests centre half’s performances in recent months has simply been a good bit of form.
“Make no mistake, Joe Gomez, Jurgen Klopp wants to have Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk as his centre-half pairing, that’s what he sees,” Owen is quoted as saying by the Express.
“But over the last season or so, Matip has just, you can’t hardly drop him, if you do you’re resting him and bringing him straight back in.
“He’s just turned over a new leaf in the last season or so.”
As I said, I understand what he’s trying to say, but this doesn’t come across well at all. Matip is a quality defender, in his own right, and this isn’t just a purple patch for the 6’5″ centre half.
Big Joel was crucial last season, and he’s proving to be just as important this year. I think Gomez will eventually usurp him too, but let’s not pretend as if Klopp hasn’t forced the Englishman to play full back to accommodate Matip.