The rise of Joel Matip is an invitation for everyone at Liverpool to make it at the top.
The Cameroon international is playing incredibly right now and has been for months. He was brilliant in the run-up to the Champions League win and we think he was Man of the Match against Chelsea on Sunday.
Matip is now a defensive rock and undoubtedly one of the best in the league. He’s also a player capable of delivering the top trophies – something held against even Virgil van Dijk before June 1st.
And so it’s quite remarkable that Matip was fourth-choice just one year ago.
Jurgen Klopp went with Joe Gomez and Van Dijk to begin the 18/19 season. Dejan Lovren would deputise when fit, while Matip was there in case of injury.
Gomez did pick up an injury in December, though, and Matip got some games. Only because of Lovren also being injured, it should be said, and it was only when the Croatian was ruled out for a significant time that Matip became a regular.
And he transformed himself, becoming an elite centre-back before the end of the season. It’s a story that shows Liverpool’s incredible ability to develop players.
Be it the explosion that was Mohamed Salah’s rise, or Andy Robertson’s rise to become the best left-back around, we know players can kick on at Liverpool.
But the rise of Matip shows that it may not even happen right away. It may even take years but, eventually, Jurgen Klopp and his team can turn you into a world-beater.
As long as you’re at Liverpool, you’ve got a chance of making it to the top.