Why Joel Matip might be one of Liverpool’s best free signings?
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool might be famous for their ‘Gegenpressing’ and incredible attacking play.
Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are excellent as a unit while the Reds have spent big on their defence in recent seasons.
Alisson and Virgil van Dijk helped the Reds to the Champions League crown in June, but one player has turned up the style over the past 12 months.
Joel Matip joined the Reds on a free after Klopp had joined, but he didn’t have a great campaign during his first season.
Partnering him with Van Dijk seems to have unlocked his abilities, and the defender could be one of Liverpool’s best ever free agent signings.
Performing at a high level
The Cameroon defender got a chance to play last season when Joe Gomez picked up a fracture. The former Schalke centre-back made no mistake when he broke into the team and has barely put a foot wrong over the past 12 months.
The 28-year-old isn’t as pacey as Gomez, but his reading of the game is better than the Englishman’s. Matip and Van Dijk have formed a near-impenetrable partnership, and it comes as no surprise that the pair look great this season too.
The 28-year-old also has the ability to dribble the ball into the opposition half, which gives Liverpool another dimension.
Matip has even kept Dejan Lovren out of the team, despite the Croatian being first-choice when Klopp took over at Anfield.
The centre-back was one of the stars in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Arsenal and scored the opening goal of the game.
Klopp isn’t known for making free agent signings, but this one certainly ranks as one of his best ever.
Of course, there have been hits too such as James Milner and Maxi Rodriguez, but Matip seems to be getting better with each season under his belt.
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The Schalke defender was also signed when he was just 25 and has several quality years left in the tank.
Shifting through the big money transfers is easy as they are expected to do well after joining, but Matip has been a breath of fresh air for the Reds.
Van Dijk brings out the best in almost everyone around him, but the Cameroon defender has grown consistently alongside the Dutchman.