Joel Matip has been immovable from the Liverpool defence since being thrust into the first team. Until last December, it looked as though Matip would never be a regular starter for the Reds. However, a nasty leg break for Joe Gomez against Burnley gave the Cameroonian centre back the opportunity he needed and he took it with both hands. From January onwards, the former Schalke man has come on leaps and bounds, deservedly keeping Gomez out of the side. The Reds defender’s form has led to Danny Mills saying that Joel Matip is better than Harry Maguire.
This summer saw the world record fee for a defender broken when Manchester United signed Harry Maguire from Leicester City for £80m. The former Foxes man had been the subject of great speculation prior to the move with Man City also in the pursuant pack. Since arriving at Man United he has been a part of the Red Devils’ worst ever start to a season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side currently lie 12th in the Premier League after 8 games, holding just 9 points.
This week, Danny Mills caused quite a stir by picking a combined Liverpool / Man United XI that contained just Liverpool players. He has since defended his decision to talkSPORT, saying:
“I would have put Harry Maguire alongside Virgil van Dijk but the fact that we’re eight games into the season, the performances of Joel Matip and the performances of Harry Maguire, I think Matip has overtaken him in all honesty.”
Whilst Mills is right in saying that Joel Matip is better than Harry Maguire, he is wrong in thinking that it’s only this season he has overtaken him. The Cameroonian was pivotal to the Reds Champions League glory and has been operating at a similar level to Ballon d’Or favourite Virgil van Dijk for months, even outperforming the Dutchman at times. Sunday should prove Danny Mills right as Liverpool are sure to trounce their Lancashire rivals.