Why Liverpool have done well by handing Joel Matip a new contract
Joel Matip recently signed a long-term contract extension with Liverpool, as per Daily Mail.
The 28-year-old’s existing deal was due to expire at the end of this season but the defender has now committed his future to Jurgen Klopp’s side until 2024.
Joel Matip arrived at Liverpool on a free transfer from Schalke back in 2016 and has made 107 appearances for the club. The former Cameroon international’s success has been valuable given he was released by Schalke prior to joining the Reds, playing a crucial role en route to last season’s UEFA Champions League triumph.
Virgil van Dijk has hogged much of the limelight since his record-breaking transfer from Southampton in January 2018. The Netherlands international has established himself as arguably the best defender in Europe since the last 12 months or so and deserves all the plaudits.
Due to Van Dijk’s sudden meteoric rise, Matip’s performances have gone a bit under the radar, but a new deal until 2024 shows just how much Klopp values him.
Matip has established himself as Van Dijk’s partner at the heart of Liverpool’s defence, holding off competition from Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren. While Van Dijk has blown hot and cold this season, Matip has been rock solid and a commanding presence at the back.
He was named as September’s Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Premier League Player of the Month as the Reds continued their 100 per cent start to the Premier League season.
Liverpool’s resilient defence—the best in the Premier League this season, conceding just six goals—has been one hallmark of Klopp’s rise, and Matip has been crucial in achieving that.
The once Cameroon international’s ability with his feet has long been recognised, and there aren’t too many who look as elegant as him when carrying the ball forward.
He has always been a domineering presence in both the boxes but the 28-year-old also has a calm head and can time his challenges to perfection.
More Liverpool News
- Why Jonas Hector would be a smart addition to the Liverpool squad
- Liverpool have done well despite missing out on Ben Chilwell
- Why Liverpool offering new deal to James Milner would be good
For a while, it looked like the 28-year-old was never going to be a regular for the Reds due to a series of niggling injuries and through his inconsistent performances.
Over the last year or so, he has been fabulous. In fact, Matip has played as big a part as anyone else in Liverpool’s unbeaten start.
Matip was key for Liverpool in their run to the Champions League crown and his performances since January has been on the upward trajectory.
Undoubtedly, he deserved a new contract and the Reds have done a smart job by securing his future for the long term.