Former Liverpool player Stan Collymore has likened Joel Matip to club legend Alan Hansen.
The Reds’ No.32 didn’t put a foot wrong on Sunday night as Jurgen Klopp’s side claimed a 3-0 victory over Leeds United at Elland Road.
Speaking exclusively to Empire of the Kop post-match, Collymore lauded both Matip and Virgil van Dijk for a solid performance.
“Another test for Virgil van Dijk. He’s played against a number of decent strikers now, whether it be Teemu Pukki on day one [when he] got done a couple of times,” the former Liverpool striker said.
“Didn’t really get done today [against Leeds]. Good test and good battle against Patrick Bamford, [he’s] starting to look like the Rolls Royce, the organised defender we know.
“And I thought that Matip was excellent. In the second half, if you’d squint a little bit, you could see Alan Hansen bringing the ball out the back, getting into midfielder, putting Liverpool on counter-attacks.”
🗣️ "Matip – if you'd squint a little bit, you could see Alan Hansen!"@StanCollymore was made up with big Virg and Joel's commanding performance at Elland Road this afternoon 💪 #LFC pic.twitter.com/MaWt7WKyML
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) September 12, 2021
It’s quite the compliment! But the comparison Collymore has made is pretty clear – Matip’s marauding runs up the pitch is a great catalyst for Liverpool, just as Hansen’s were back in the day.
Specifically, a gallop up the pitch by the Cameroonian was pivotal in Mo Salah’s opening goal in the first-half against Leeds, playing a neat pass out wide to Trent Alexander-Arnold, who assisted the forward.
Matip and van Dijk are a solid partnership at the back for the Reds – perhaps the best we’ve seen in the Premier League era – which is affording Joe Gomez time to get 100% match-ready.