Jurgen Klopp has praised Joel Matip for the manner in which the Cameroonian has improved over the past year.
At the back end of 2018, the centre-back was our fourth-choice, miles behind Virgil van Dijk and not at the level of either Joe Gomez or Dejan Lovren – but fast forward 12 months and everything has changed.
Neither Gomez and Lovren can get in our Champions League or Premier League teams due to Matip’s sensational recent form, which has gone on so long now that almost isn’t the right word to use.
Some would argue that he’s actually been better than his partner van Dijk, based on this term alone, which is obviously monumental praise.
Klopp reckons that Matip should be considered one of Liverpool’s best signings because of the fact we got him on a free.
“With the challenges you have, you grow. Joel was always an incredible talent,” Klopp told today’s pre-match press conference.
“He was 18 playing for Schalke, that’s not easy. In a world of big transfer fees, signing Joel on free transfer was incredible, one of best pieces of business we did.”
When you consider what Manchester United paid for Harry Maguire, Liverpool’s boss’s remarks ring truer.
In fact, if offered a swap between Matip and Maguire right now, we wouldn’t accept – which demonstrates how highly our 28-year-old is rated by Reds.