Joel Matip has shown everyone at Liverpool how great he is in defence, but his headered goal on Saturday showed he has the ability to find the back of the net too.
There were varying opinions on Joel Matip when the Cameroonian signed from Schalke on a free in the summer transfer window and initially, the former Schalke defender appeared to be a very tall player, but unspectacular.
In retrospect, Liverpool have picked up arguably the bargain of a lifetime. To sign a player like Joel Matip, who is only 25 years old, and not have to pay an absolute fortune is unheard of. It’s rather funny when you think about the fact that Manchester City picked up John Stones for £49 million and he’s accustomed to the Premier League, yet he’s having a comparatively difficult time.
Former Liverpool striker David Fairclough spoke to Liverpool’s official website about how well Matip has adapted to the Premier League and how he is quickly becoming a fan favourite.
“I think Matip has really come on and he has gradually become a firm favourite amongst the Liverpool supporters,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“It was great to see him get his first goal for the club and it was an unstoppable header. You get the impression with his presence he is capable of getting more goals for us like that.
“Everybody who watches Liverpool can’t help but notice how calm Matip is. He is a big, imposing figure who has added height and strength to the side.
“He handles himself extremely well and he doesn’t get ruffled. He is getting stronger and stronger.”
Liverpool have conceded 13 goals in 10 Premier League games this season, and yet with Joel Matip at centre back and James Milner in for Alberto Moreno, there has been more confidence when facing opposition attackers. Despite Matip’s veritable height, defending still remains an issue that many are beginning to wonder when it will be resolved.
Jurgen Klopp is very much a manager who looks ahead and not at the games gone by and the number of goals conceded, but he’ll be expecting a lot more from his side than what was seen against Crystal Palace when Watford travel to Anfield on Sunday.