Liverpool must hand Joel Matip a new contract, as it would be too expensive to find a player of his quality that would be willing to sit on the bench.

The former Schalke defender arrived at Liverpool to play as a starting centre-back alongside Dejan Lovren but as time has gone on, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have established themselves as the first choice duo.

However, injury to the latter provided Matip with the opportunity to take his spot in the starting XI and now there is less clarity over who will start the first game of the 2019/20 Premier League season.

Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip.

Photo by Michael Regan – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Matip’s progress is actually best exemplified by how little is said of him given the panic when he replaced Gomez after the Englishman broke his leg.

Supporters were rightly concerned about Gomez but they failed to give Matip the trust he deserved before he came into the side and formed a dominant partnership with Virgil van Dijk.

 

The Cameroonian helped keep Robert Lewandowski quiet home and away and gave Luis Suarez no chance at Anfield following the capitulation at Camp Nou.

Joel Matip and Robert Lewandowski.

Photo by Stefan Matzke – sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Signing a replacement for the 27-year-old would be far too expensive as the new signing would need to be good enough to start 30+ games a season if needed and be content to sit on the bench if made to.

The simple fact is that good centre-backs are not willing to sit on the bench and those that are both cost a lot of money and need a bumper pay cheque by way of consolation.

Matip is the ideal reserve centre-back as he complements van Dijk’s style of play while he doesn’t make a fuss if he is left on the bench and that is priceless to Jurgen Klopp as he looks to further improve his squad this summer.

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