‘Incredible talent’ gives away true feelings about spending so much time on Liverpool’s bench

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Joel Matip admitted it was part and parcel of being a Liverpool player to face so much in the way of competition for places in the starting lineup.

As such, the Cameroonian appears to bear no grudges against Jurgen Klopp or any of the club’s decision-makers, stating it’s ‘normal’ to find himself on the bench for long periods of time.

“At a club like Liverpool, competition is part of the game. Of course I’m happy that I managed to hold my own for such a long time,” the ex-Schalke man told Sky Deutschland (via Sport Witness).

“Of course, you have to show something every now and then – otherwise you won’t have the opportunity to stay that long.

“We have so much quality and so many games that you inevitably end up on the bench – that’s normal. And I’m also happy to have such good colleagues in central defence.”

The 32-year-old has, however, found himself back in the first-XI of late amid Virgil van Dijk’s two-game suspension, following a red card decision at St James’ Park, and Ibrahima Konate’s mild injury concern.

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A superb servant for Liverpool Football Club

There have been mixed reviews of Matip’s return to the fold with a standout showing against Aston Villa preceding a poor display at the Molineux.

Indeed, it was telling that 20-year-old Academy graduate Jarell Quansah was by far the more convincing centre-half in a backline that was largely dysfunctional in the first-half.

Liverpool’s Joel Matip at the Molineux – (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

That’s not to slight the defender who has otherwise been a consistent and reliable operator in the heart of the back four when called upon.

Certainly, the case could be made that his performances across the 2021/22  season marked him out as one of the leading centre-backs in Europe.

Klopp rightly once described the ‘incredible talent’ that is Matip as ‘one of the best pieces of business we did’ (as relayed by Football365), and it’s certainly how he’ll be remembered in the grand scheme of things, even if he won’t necessarily have a huge part to play this time around.

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