Danny Mills has praised Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip for their attitude to force their way into Jurgen Klopp’s plans at Liverpool.
Both players have impressed when called upon this season, despite seemingly having fallen behind Joe Gomez in the pecking order this time last year.
And Mills has been eager to hail their commitment.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “Everyone expected Joe Gomez to be the regular centre-half alongside Van Dijk and it’s Matip, but he’s done brilliantly and improved.
“Equally Lovren, when he’s come in, he has overtaken Gomez so he’s obviously doing something in training which shows Klopp that he is the better option.
“Maybe because they’re alongside Van Dijk…but those two have improved.
“And all credit to them, either of them could have moved on as they could have thought it would have been the younger Joe Gomez, but they’ve held their own.”
Full credit to Lovren and Matip, few could have seen the turnaround that they have managed to bring about at Anfield this season. Matip in particular has done a superb job. He may have struggled a but when he first arrived in England, but this term, he has looked like a new man. His current injury has halted his momentum quite cruelly, but prior to that he was absolutely flying. With 5.9 aerial duels won and 5.3 clearances made per game, as per Whoscored, he was a colossus at the back, and were it not for his injury, it would have been hard to see how anybody would have displaced him. Now, however, Lovren has stepped into that breach brilliantly, averaging five aerials duels and 4.6 clearances in his own right, as per Whoscored. It will be interesting to see who Klopp elects to go with when Matip is back to fitness, but no matter what, that kind of strength in depth can never be a bad thing.