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Liverpool: Matip African Cup decision; Celtic striker responds to interest; Klopp to give youngster opportunities

After speculation that he may have put an end to his international exile and head to the African Cup of Nations in January, Paul Joyce of the Times has confirmed that Joel Matip has reassured the club that he is not planning on departing mid-season to represent his national team.

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The central defender has been an inspired signing by Jurgen Klopp on a free transfer in the summer and has immediately become a key player for the Reds, with his absence sorely felt by the team last weekend. However, he is now expected to be available for selection for the visit of West Ham on Sunday.

However, the club has also received some bad news as the Daily Record claim that Celtic’s 20-year-old striker Moussa Dembele is set to turn down an approach from Liverpool as he plans to stay at Celtic Park under former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, as he feels it will help his development.

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The Frenchman has been in good form this season and caught the eye of a number of scouts from Europe’s top clubs, but now seems destined to remain in Scotland, rather than move to mainland Europe or across the border to move to Anfield.

That may give a fresh opportunity to left winger Sheyi Ojo, who played 90 minutes for the under 23s team this week after several months out after picking up a back injury in pre-season with the first team. He said:

“[Klopp] has mentioned to me that he wants to give me an opportunity which is nice. I’m grateful for that because as a young player you don’t get many opportunities at a massive club like Liverpool. So I have to knuckle down, keep working hard and get as many minutes as I can with the reserves and try and prove to the manager that I’m ready. Hopefully I’ll get my opportunity soon.”

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It shows an exciting trend under Klopp, with the German promoting the Academy and a number of young players have already made their breakthrough under the former Dortmund boss.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Anfield BR.

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