Joel Matip was terrific at the back-end of last season as Liverpool won the Champions League, and began 2019/20 in similarly impressive form.
A lengthy injury though allowed Joe Gomez to re-establish his partnership alongside Virgil van Dijk – and as a result – the German born Cameroonian is now behind that pair in the central defensive pecking order.
Still, he’s a mighty important member of the squad and after signing a lengthy contract extension earlier this season, Matip will be at Anfield for some time to come.
His former Schalke assistant Sven Hubscher has explained how highly Matip rates Jurgen Klopp, the manager who brought him from Germany to England in 2016.
Hubscher explained to Goal and SPOX what Matip told him about the world’s best manager: “Klopp is very emotional and that translates to the players. Everyone is ready to go full throttle.
“Competition also plays an important role, which makes the coach’s work easier.
“Nevertheless, he says that everyone is ready at any time to march like soldiers for Klopp. He has never had a harder preparation in his life than in Liverpool.
“How fit the team is can be seen on the pitch. They play with a chain of four in defence, in front of that, three madmen run from right to left and, in front of that, they have three grenades that do the damage.
“That’s how they won the Champions League last season.”
With no football on right now, Matip is self-isolating at home and training with the squad only via Zoom – so if you’re are as bored as he likely is – check out the best Canadian betting sites.
While Matip will stay at Liverpool and provide competition for Gomez, we consider Dejan Lovren surplus to requirements.
If the Croat exits, Liverpool will likely have to bring in a new central defender, as we’re not sure Sepp van den Berg is up to scratch just yet – based on what we’ve seen of the young Dutchman so far.
Ideally, we’ll be able to bring in a youthful player who’ll at first be comfortable as a backup option, but also someone versatile enough to cover Andy Robertson at left-back.
This way, we’ll only need to bring in one defender for two positions, which Klopp prefers – instead of stockpiling reserve options for every role.
We’d quite like Ben White of Leeds, but the club who own him, Brighton, could charge a premium.