Sam Wood illustrates why Joël Matip is a better signing than Manchester United’s Eric Bailly.
With Manchester United spending in excess of £30 million for Ivorian defender Eric Bailly, I evaluate how our free signing Joël Matip compares to him, and whether he may have saved us millions of pounds.
Liverpool signed Joël Matip on a free transfer from German club Schalke shortly after Jürgen Klopp joined the club. It was seen as the start of the Klopp revolution, having only being at the club for a short amount of time, but still being able to attract a top class player for free.
Much has been expected this summer, however many Liverpool fans have become tired of the constant transfer rumours, linking us to ridiculous and unrealistic players. Klopp has completed the signature of Loris Karius, one of the best keepers in the Bundesliga last season, for less than £5 million.
However, there have also been disappointments. With Bayern Munich’s Mario Götze looking set to be Klopp’s first marquee signing, he made a u turn and decided to stay. This and the twisting story of Gonzalo Higuaín has annoyed Liverpool fans.
Despite this, Matip looks to be the shining light. Eric Bailly has joined Manchester United for a sum of around £30 million, with many question marks looming over him, as he only joined his previous club, Villarreal, last summer as a replacement to the departing Gabriel Paulista, who left for Arsenal.
In many people’s eyes, Matip is even better than Bailly. They are both very quick and physical, but it seems that Matip is less prone to mistakes. Seen as one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga last season, you would normally have to cough up £20 – £30 million, so to get him for free is a phenomenal achievement. Is this is what we should expect from Klopp?
According to Whoscored.com, Bailly has 37 appearances compared to Matip’s 42 this season. Matip also has more goals, 4, compared to Bailly’s 1. He also has 3 assists compared to Bailly’s 0. It is clear by these statistics that Matip has had a more impressive season than Bailly, and for £30 million less, Liverpool has scored a bargain.
Furthermore, Matip has 3.5 aerial wins per game, while Bailly has 1.7. Matip also has a pass percentage of 84.3% and Bailly has 78.4%. There is no doubt, according to the stats, that Matip is the better player.
However, the Ivorian is 2 years younger than Matip, at 22. This could prove a big difference, but would you pay an extra £30 million for a slightly younger and slightly worse player? I thought not.
If Matip lives up to his expectations, he could have saved Liverpool 10’s of millions of pounds. A brilliant defender for less than a packet of crisps.
Eric Bailly is a great player, I’m not denying that, but the risk is very high, with big hopes on a young 22 year old from Côte d’Ivoire and a £30 million price tag. Personally, I believe this deal by Klopp is majorly underrated and could prove vital to a top 4 challenge and a possible title challenge.