Injuries to Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren at different stages of this season have seen Joel Matip benefit immensely to form a strong partnership with Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the Liverpool defence.
Matip found it very, very difficult to secure regular minutes in the early stages of the 2018-19 campaign, but he has been more in favour in recent months.
He is not a regular in the starting XI by default and his run in the side of late has emerged by virtue of necessity more than anything, but the impeccable form he has showcased hints that Gomez will have a tough time forcing his way back into Klopp’s first choice XI.
And along with a number of others in a red shirt, Matip was outstanding in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday night.
The Liverpool fans have been on social media discussing the 27-year-old’s future at the club, and it has thrown up an interesting debate.
Indeed, whilst there are those who feel that Matip – valued at £18m by Transfermarkt – has more than earned his position in the squad, others believe that the Reds still need to strengthen defensively when this summer’s transfer window opens for business.
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A selection of the Twitter reaction can be seen below:
Dont change winning ways. Joel has earned his spot. Joe has to earn his place back in the starting 11 now.
— liam cowlin (@liamcowlin) May 8, 2019
I think Gomez is the better CB of the two to be honest. Although he couldn’t have done a better job than Matip last night. But in the long run, Gomez would be better.
— Rashed Doha (@RashedDoha) May 8, 2019
Deserves to play in that position best liverpool defender last night
— L fargie73 (@liamfargin) May 8, 2019
Matip for the rest of the season. Gomez again next year. If we can get de ligt somehow, then I would, otherwise I’m happy with Gomez & VVD, then matip and another CB next season. Think lovren should go
— Steven Joyce (@Joycey_14) May 8, 2019
Still think we should go for De Ligt. Gomez- great, Matip- great last 2-3 months but De Ligt is world class just like VVD.
— Jeff Lindqvist (@JeffLindqvist) May 8, 2019
Long term , I think Gomez is a better option and we need to sell Lovren and bring in another young quality CB.
— Riddho Sama (@RiddhoSama) May 8, 2019
No chance he’s absolutely deserved every minute he’s played this season along with each and every one of them #forzaliverpool and long may it continue
— kirky (@SAMK1RK) May 8, 2019
He’s staying where he’s. Earned his place.
Great performances deserve to be reinforced to encourage other players that it’s not about favouritism but performance.
Huge fan of Gomez btw.
— Emperor Epiphany (@Lexxyskull) May 8, 2019