Joel Matip told the Liverpool Echo about his struggle to maintain his fitness this season and how he has been improving due to playing regularly.

While many fans on social media cannot stop talking about how they want to see Matthijs de Ligt join the club in the summer, it’s rather unfair on Matip as the Cameroonian has been outstanding this season.

If it weren’t for him stepping into the starting XI in 2019, Dejan Lovren might have been the one to be handed an extended run in the side and that could have seen the season end in a drastically different way.

Dejan Lovren and Sergio Aguero.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

“At the beginning of the season I was struggling with injuries and other lads did very well, so there was no reason to change,” Matip told the Echo.

“But in the second half (of the season) I could play and could improve. I feel good.

 

“You are waiting for this. And then if you can use it, it’s not a bad feeling – it’s not the worst feeling.”

Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Matip’s presence at the back has been a surprising strength of Liverpool’s and with Virgil van Dijk alongside him, the 27-year-old has improved hugely and is one of the most improved players at the club.

Before this season, he was considered to be something of a liability even if he did have his good moments but now the former Schalke man is one of the first names on the team sheet.

A Champions League final in Madrid beckons and if Liverpool are to keep a clean sheet against Tottenham, Matip will need to be at his brilliant best.

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