The Reds of Liverpool just keep marching on, don’t they?
Indeed, there doesn’t seem like there’s any stopping to them. Furthermore, at this stage of the season, what will please Jurgen Klopp the most is the healthy competitiveness in his side, especially when it comes to central defence. Virgil Van Dijk is obviously indispensable to the cause but even Joel Matip’s made strides in recent months.
When it was looking like Joe Gomez (who’s now returned, of course) was needed to further shore up the Reds’ defence, the Cameroonian centre-back picked up his game exponentially. He’s been a reliable cog in defence, working in tandem with Van Dijk to create an unpenetrable force in the heart of defence.
Many have forgotten how error-prone he once was upon arriving in Liverpool, who signed him for free from Schalke, and have developed him into a top player. Yes, Gomez is the long-term option for the Reds, but Matip certainly looks much better than Dejan Lovren.
He gave a really emphatic showing recently in the tricky game against Chelsea, keeping Eden Hazard and later Gonzalo Higuain quiet throughout. He made 3 interceptions, 2 tackles and won 5 aerial duels (stats via Fotmob), helping Allison keep his 18th Premier League clean-sheet. While his Dutch partner takes much credit for his effortless brilliance, Matip’s complimenting him really well.
Every passing game, he’s looking like a real masterstroke.
With some important games on the horizon for the title-chasing Reds, Klopp actually shouldn’t experiment with Gomez nor will he break up his perfect defensive partnership. The young Englishman needs to wait his turn and has to work on outperforming Matip to get back into the team.
However, that seems very unlikely because of Matip’s assured performances. Matip and Van Dijk are currently mixing like bread and butter, with their smooth work in defence itself partially winning games for Klopp’s men.
Liverpool fans, are you impressed with Matip’s stellar work recently? Join the discussion by commenting below…