In his first couple of years at Liverpool, Joel Matip struggled to hold down a regular first team spot.
After a leg break for Gomez against Burnley, Jurgen Klopp thrust the free signing alongside Van Dijk and it appears the Dutchman was the calming influence that a shaky Matip needed. Following his remarkable improvement in 2019, Matip should start every game for Liverpool.
Following a couple of years of inconsistent performances, he proved to be a revelation when starting alongside Van Dijk. The Cameroonian centre half proved vital to Liverpool’s barnstorming run to a sixth Champions League title.
If it wasn’t for the star turn season that Matthijs De Ligt had for Ajax, Matip would have a strong case for world team of the year.
The one question that hung over the Liverpool defence this summer was just who would start alongside Van Dijk in 19/20?
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Joe Gomez’s leg break cut short a sensational start to the season. Matip looked a new player alongside Van Dijk and became a pivotal part of the defence. After giving Gomez the starting berth against City and Norwich, Klopp has opted for his Champions League winning partnership in subsequent games.
While Van Dijk was the standout player last season, Matip has looked his equal so far this campaign and even out performed him on occasion.
Is Matip’s form the start of a roundabout that finally sees Trent Alexander-Arnold move into midfield? One thing is for sure, Matip should start every game for Liverpool.