Alex Rogers provides three reasons as to why Joël Matip will be a star player for Liverpool next season.
Getting Joël Matip on a free transfer was a stroke of genius from Klopp. The Cameroonian has been a well known figure in the Bundesliga for a while now and for all the right reasons. At the young age of 24 he is a star and I’m absolutely ecstatic with his signing. Here are three reasons why Matip will be a great signing for us.
One of Joël’s strengths is his height. At an impressive 6 ft 5 inches tall, and add that to his impressive ability on the ball, he is the living embodiment of the term of having “good feet for a big man”. Having a competent, confident ball playing centre back will be a great boost for our squad.
It’s definitely helped his scoring record with 4 goals and 3 assists in all competitions last season. That’s quite an impressive record for a centre back and it’s not just his goal scoring ability that’s impressive. His defensive ability is phenomenal.
Having played over 190 matches for Schalke, 40 being in Europe, he is already greatly experienced at his young age and his defensive statistics back it up. Matip outshone all of our senior centre backs (bar Joe Gomez as he was injured all season) when it came to tackles and interceptions per game averaging 1.1 successful tackles a game compared to Skrtel’s and Sakho’s 0.9 and Lovren’s 1.0 a game. More impressively he averages 3 interceptions a game compared to Skrtel’s 2.2 and Lovren and Sakho’s 1.9 a game.
Cutting out attacking opportunities before they evolve into a real threat seems to be a great strength for the Cameroonian and is exactly what we need. Matip only made one defensive error last season. One defensive error! All season? Matip, yes please.
Matip’s age is a huge boost as well. With the exit of veteran Kolo and the ageing Skrtel, adding a bit of youth to the team definitely won’t hurt, especially with his experience.
At the age of 24, Matip still has his best years ahead of him. The potential to be one of the best centre backs in the league, maybe even the world, is there. With Klopp’s ability to get the best out of players it’s not that far fetched. Who’s not to say that Matip couldn’t be one of the best? Look at another of Klopp’s centre back protégés, Mats Hummels. Any team in the world would be happy to have him.
To recap, the three reasons I think Matip is a great signing for us is because he is phenomenal ball playing centre back able to aid in attack and maybe get his name on the score sheet. He is also an incredible defender in general, capable of cutting out attacks and becoming a real pest to top playmakers and strikers alike. And finally, the potential to be one of the best around.
Yes, Matip is a fantastic player to add to our ranks and one who I personally feel like will be a fan favourite. Hats off to Klopp, he must be a magician. I look forward to watching Matip play with a red shirt on his back. Watching him play for us in the first few games may feel surreal as Liverpool don’t make top quality signings like that! All on all, Matip is a player I can’t see not doing well for us, and one I welcome with open arms.