After the flurry of excitement last night from the double arrival of Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak, Liverpool fans came back to earth with a bump after it became apparent why we were so desperate to sign two centre-backs instead of just one…
Joel Matip will miss the entire season with injury – which is a ridiculous and unprecedented situation when you consider Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez – our other two centre-backs – are in the same position.
Matip is a wonderful defender and person, but we’ve not been able to rely on him for extended periods. In the past two and a half seasons – he’s played 41 Premier League games.
Jurgen Klopp has indicated that Liverpool were pushing Matip this season to play through pain due to the absences of our other defenders – and has explained the moment which caused an issue against Spurs last week.
Matip’s last big contribution for us was that wonderful tackle on Heung-Min Son.
“Unfortunately, we found out now after everybody looked at it that Joel will be out for the rest of the season,” Klopp told the official website.
“But he will be ready for the start of the next pre-season and finally everything will be sorted.
“In the end, we have to admit that he probably did that.
“The situation is just, the season started and Joel was injured when the season started, unfortunately. We should not forget that at Schalke when he was there he played pretty much all the time completely through, he never had something.
“Then he was unlucky with a Koulibaly challenge against Napoli in the last second, in the Everton game kind of things, a little bit with the foot here and there. If something started and then the situation is like our situation – that nobody can really wait because of our situation with Virgil out and Joe out – we always had to try to find the first moment when he is able to play again.
“It was really unlucky because it was a brilliant challenge he made actually, he saved our life in that moment in the Tottenham game when he won the challenge against Son.
“But he injured his ankle and played the game on and now is out for the season, so you can imagine how much he tried to stay on the pitch and tried to help us.
“We will wait for him. He has now the rest of this season, then the summer, then the pre-season to get ready again and he will be ready again.”
It’s gutting having a player like Matip so perpetually unavailable – and we can now only hope Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak hit the ground running.
We play Brighton on Wednesday, and Klopp has a decision whether to throw in one of the new boys or go with Jordan Henderson and Nat Phillips, who were perfectly adequate v West Ham.