Date: 10th September 2019 at 7:20pm
Written by:

OPINION

Joel Matip has cemented his place in the heart of Liverpool’s defence under Jurgen Klopp.

The Cameroon international has taken his game to another level in the past two seasons and played a vital role in the Reds’ run to a sixth Champions League success.

Matip has continued that form at the beginning of this Premier League season and scored the all-important opener in their 3-1 victory over Arsenal at Anfield in August.

Klopp has been impressed with the defender since his arrival in 2016 from Schalke and was reported by the Athletic to be keen to tie Matip down to a new contract, with his current deal set to expire in 2020.

The Athletic reported on Monday that the Reds have now triggered an option for Matip for an extra year, which will see him remain in Merseyside until 2021, with another contract set to be on the table in the future.

Before an injury to Joe Gomez last season, Matip was in direct competition with the youngster to partner Virgil van Dijk at Anfield and has fully proven that he deserves this extension right now.

The 28-year-old has averaged 1.3 tackles so far this season according to WhoScored and has also completed two interceptions on top of that.

Matip has already averaged more interceptions this season compared to last (1.5), as his relationship with van Dijk starts to flourish.

The Dutch defender is considered as one of the best defenders in the world right now and averages significantly more interceptions than tackles due to his ability to read the game with ease – something his partner has started to replicate.

The £100,000-a-week enforcer [Spotrac] is fully deserving of the reported contract extension and has helped transform Liverpool into the side they are today.

Matip’s starring role in the Champions League definitely helped highlight his importance to Liverpool, who should do everything they can to secure his future.