Liverpool defender Joel Matip hasn’t always been appreciated for what he brings to the Reds, but it appears that that is finally starting to change.
Not only did the 6ft 4in Cameroon international [Source: Transfermarkt] come in for plenty of plaudits from supporters after his performance against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, but his manager Jurgen Klopp spent Friday talking him up at his pre match press conference.
“From my side, he can’t get more praise,” he said, as per journalist James Pearce’s personal Twitter account. “He’s an outstanding player.”
Klopp on Matip: "From my side, he can't get more praise. He's an outstanding player."
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) March 15, 2019
Praise doesn’t come much more effusive than that. Matip deserves it, though, because he has been in phenomenal form in recent months. He has stepped up to the plate at a time of need for the Reds and that’s likely why Klopp is so pleased with him.
When Joe Gomez went down injured a few months ago it left a major void in the centre of the Liverpool defence. If anyone was going to fill it it was expected to be Dejan Lovren.
The injuries suffered by the Croatian have obviously been a big reason for that, but so has the form of Matip. Lovren is now back fully fit, but he can’t get a sniff at the moment.
The assumption has always been that Gomez will slide straight back into a starting spot once he’s fully fit again, but Matip’s revival has thrown that into doubt.
It now seems like that, not only is Matip the man of the moment, but that he has turned around an ailing Liverpool career and has now likely secured himself a big future at Anfield.