Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hailed Joel Matip, with the defender set to play a huge role for the Reds in the coming months.
The Cameroonian centre-half is now the club’s only fit central defender after Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both sustained serious knee injuries.
The star, who has had injury problems of his own, is now primed to become the leader of Klopp’s backline, and the 29-year-old has the full backing of his manager.
Speaking ahead of the club’s huge Premier League game with Leicester City, the German tactician said (official website): “The best football age! Joel, since he was with us, he is incredible. He was incredible before, that’s why we signed him.
“He is an incredible football player, it’s unbelievable how good he is. Yes, he was unlucky with injuries. Before he arrived here he had no injuries, played for Schalke pretty much through four, five or six years.”
Matip has been limited to just three appearances this term, having carried a tendon injury into 2020/21 from last season, but Klopp believes the ex-Schalke man is in excellent condition.
“Now he’s back and hopefully for a long time”, he added. “If he is in the best moment of his career, I don’t know, but I was really happy with the moment of his career he was in for the last four years. Super player.”
TBR’s View – Matip’s most important stage
£100,000-a-week star Matip (Spotrac) really is a fine defender, it is just a question of him staying fit at a time when Liverpool desperately need him to.
If that happens, then Liverpool can surely expect to pick up victories most weekends, especially if Fabinho is consistently alongside him.
It’s undoubtedly a tough time for Liverpool, and how Matip fares in this difficult period could have major bearing on the Reds chances of retaining the title.