Joel Matip has a problem at Liverpool right now – it’s difficult to see how he gets back to the head of the selection line. His replacement’s form is just too good.
Matip was on top of the world at the start of the season. The Cameroonian was a European champion and a firm fixture in Liverpool’s starting XI.
His form was so good, in fact, that the PFA named him Player of the Month back in September. For a player who had been in the shadow of Virgil van Dijk, people were finally recognising Matip’s own qualities.
Unfortunately, Matip has played just one Premier League game since winning that award. Injury kept him out and provided an opportunity for Joe Gomez.
Gomez took that chance with both hands and actually improved Liverpool’s defence. Liverpool kept two clean sheets in ten games with Matip – it’s 12 in 15 with Gomez next to Van Dijk.
Given Gomez’s age and their form, this current partnership is the long-term future. It deserves nurturing and as much practice as necessary.
So how does Matip get back in? He may get games here and there but in terms of dethroning Gomez, injury seems like his only chance.
The statistics are just so far in the Englishman’s favour that it makes it tough for Matip to even make an argument. We can expect to see a lot more of Gomez – which is unfortunate for Matip and his selection chances.
He hasn’t played poorly – quite the opposite, in fact. He’s been one of the best, just not quite good enough.