Former European Cup-winning Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that Joel Matip was as good as anyone last season.
The man who played 356 games for the Reds in the 1980s also believes that Trent Alexander-Arnold has been off-colour lately.
Lawrenson was speaking ahead of Liverpool’s massive game with Arsenal this weekend, with his comments appearing on his weekly prediction piece.
Liverpool thrashed Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield last season and he has backed Liverpool to prevail again this time around.
He told the BBC Sport website: “Full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold looks a little bit off so Jurgen Klopp opted to fo with Joe Gomez against Chelsea and it’s a good thing there’s that competition for places. Joel Matip has been in the team too. He was as good as anybody at the end of last season.”
Liverpool opted not to splash the cash this summer but it would appear competition for places is still healthy – particularly at the back.
TBR Verdict – Lawrenson partly right about Liverpool’s defensive options
The ex-Liverpool defender is kind of right about Liverpool’s defensive options.
He is definitely right when he says that Matip was as good as anyone towards the end of last season. The £100,000-a-week (Spotrac) defender was a real unsung hero alongside Virgil van Dijk.
In terms of Alexander-Arnold, he has set himself such a high benchmark that when he doesn’t play quite as well people see it as him dropping off.
That shouldn’t really be seen as the case. He is a youngster, still learning his trade and it is impossible to expect him to be on top form each and every week.
It still seems likely that the academy graduate will be Liverpool’s number one right-back this season.