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Micah Richards claims Liverpool star Joel Matip was 'better than Van Dijk' last season
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Micah Richards claims Liverpool star Joel Matip was 'better than Van Dijk' last season

Photo by Shaun Botterill – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

During a debate with Jamie Redknapp about Liverpool, Micah Richards claimed that Joel Matip was better than Virgil van Dijk last season.

The two pundits sat down with LADBibleTV to form their combined Liverpool and Manchester City XI. Things even got heated between Richards and Redknapp on one occasion, but what caught our eye was their discussion about which two centre-backs should get into the side.

Micah Richards claims Liverpool star Joel Matip was ‘better than Van Dijk’ last season

Both Redknapp and Richards agreed that Van Dijk is an undisputed starter. There was no debate about him getting in the side, but the spot next to him was up for grabs.

Against the theme of the whole show, Richards named a Liverpool player for the left-centre-half position, while Redknapp decided to go with a Manchester City man in Ruben Dias.

Richards said in response: “I think Matip has been good as well, you know?

Redknapp responded: “I’m not feeling that at all.”

Richards then made his big claim: “I think he’s underrated. I think he started ok, had the injuries, but as you watch him – last season, he was arguably better than Van Dijk, in my opinion.”

Redknapp then ended the debate by saying: “He’d (pointing at the host) look good next to Van Dijk. So, I’m telling you, If you take Virgil out, I think Matip would find it difficult.”

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

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Matip really is underrated compared to some of the other highly-regarded centre-backs in the Premier League.

The now-31-year-old joined the Reds as a free agent from Schalke all the way back in 2016. Nobody really expected him to go on and become one of Liverpool’s most important players, but he has done just that.

When he’s fit, there aren’t many defenders in the country who are as good as him. Playing next to someone like Van Dijk is definitely a big help, but he has covered for the Dutchman on plenty of occasions as well.

Matip really is an exceptional defender, and if Jurgen Klopp can keep him fit, Liverpool’s chances of success will go up.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
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