Joel Matip has been a standout performer for Liverpool this season with an average Whoscored rating of 7.62 in the Premier League and his absence was noticeable in the Reds’ first match since his injury, as they conceded three at home to Red Bull Salzburg.
In recent times he has made the position alongside Virgil van Dijk his own, and his man of the match award against Chelsea combined with the praise he has received from fans underlines how well he has been playing.
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Jurgen Klopp has in recent matches shown a preference for the Cameroon international, whom he once described as an “incredible talent”, despite Joe Gomez starting in the first competitive fixture of the season against Norwich at Anfield.
Liverpool have conceded only four goals from the six Premier League games in which Matip and van Dijk have played, yet conceded almost the same amount in one match upon Gomez’s return to the team against Red Bull Salzburg, leading some fans to wish they had the former Schalke man back fit.
Matip’s absence was noticed by several fans on Wednesday night, and some believe the defensive nightmare would have been avoided with him in the side, as the reactions below show.
Imagine saying a year ago that we were poor because we really missed Joel Matip.
His impact on this team is huge.
— Laurie (@LFCLaurie) October 2, 2019
Tonight just proves that Joel Matip is our best defender this season. No way we’d ship 3 goals with him on the pitch.
— Sam (@SamueILFC) October 2, 2019
Salzburg have been brilliant, but we’ve really missed Matip.
— Matt (@FalseFMatt) October 2, 2019
I miss Joel Matip, so much.
— – (@AnfieldRd96) October 2, 2019
Should’ve been a routine win after going 3-0 up. But like always too many sloppy play. Matip please come back soon, because Gomez is not cutting it.
— Negus44 ??♂️??♂️???? (@Hamfosi44) October 2, 2019
see how good big Joel Matip is after last night, best in world
— Velvet Thunder (@HGrafton05) October 3, 2019
I miss Matip.
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) October 2, 2019
No Matip, no party.
— Kloppholic (@Kloppholic) October 2, 2019