Joel Matip told Liverpool’s official website that he’s ready to fight for his place in Jurgen Klopp’s starting lineup and is not getting complacent after his role in the side last season.
The Cameroonian was a key figure at the back last season as he formed a dominant partnership with Virgil van Dijk that saw Liverpool go on and win the Champions League in Madrid.
Now, however, Joe Gomez is back fully fit and will be challenging Matip in pre-season for the coveted spot next to van Dijk and the competition means that neither can be complacent.
Matip told Liverpoolfc.com: “It was nice to play and have the success, but a new season begins. You start new and last season doesn’t matter. You only have to take the things, learn the things from last year, but we all start from new.
“We have a lot of good players. I try to play as much as possible, but we will see.
“Because of this, we have a high-quality squad like this. Everyone needs to step in if someone is missing, injured or not in the best shape. We are looking good and I am looking forward to the season.”
Whether Klopp selects Matip or Gomez to start alongside van Dijk, there is a guarantee that the quality will be high and this depth speaks volumes about how much Liverpool have improved.
Just a few short seasons ago, there was a real lack of quality being displayed at the back and now, there are four high-quality defenders for Klopp to choose from week in and week out.
This transformation is what has propelled them onto being a title-winning side as opposed to one that was lucky to be in contention for top four football.