Joel Matip was once again absent for Liverpool on Wednesday night, as he was unable to recover from the injury problem that forced him off in the Reds’ 1-1 draw with Fulham last weekend.
Fortunately for Jurgen Klopp’s side, Roberto Firmino’s late header meant that they would return to the top of the table after beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Anfield, but the German manager will be concerned that the Cameroonian is struggling with injury problems at a time where they are desperately short of defensive options.
Rhys Williams filled in superbly for the Reds on what was his Premier League debut, helping keep Harry Kane quiet throughout the 90 minutes, whilst Fabinho was once again excellent in his new-found role as a centre-back.
Therefore, when you also consider the solid performances of Nathaniel Phillips when he has been called upon at times this season, you wonder whether Matip, who earns £100k per week with the Reds, may have now run out of chances with Liverpool.
The former Schalke man has been excellent in spells for Liverpool, and of course played his part in the Reds winning the Champions League in 2019, as well as the Premier League in 2020.
However, the 29-year-old has regularly been sidelined with injury during his time with the Merseyside club and this latest setback will be a huge cause of frustration for Klopp in a time when he was relying on the centre-back to stay fit, due to the long-term injuries suffered by Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk.
Therefore, once those two return to fitness, it may well be time for Klopp to axe Matip, as unfortunately, he has shown himself to be unreliable throughout his time at the club, and the talents coming through the Liverpool academy look ready to step up in his absence.
Hopefully, for the Reds, his current injury won’t rule him out for too much longer, as he will surely be an important player for the rest of this season, but beyond that, you worry for his future with the club.
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