Liverpool have come a long way under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp and Monday night’s narrow Merseyside derby victory over Everton kept the Reds six points behind breakaway leaders Chelsea.
One major area where the German boss has helped improve the Anfield giants is in defence, with the summer arrival of Joel Matip helping to shore-up the Reds back-line and the Cameroon international has also help improve other members of the squad.
Liverpool legend Phil Thompson believes Matip has helped get the best out of central-defensive partner Dejan Lovren, telling Sky Sports:
”He has helped Lovren get better. Getting used to the different goalkeepers has been a difficult part, but as a unit they have been great – and that is mainly down to Matip, apart from the game against West Ham.”
Thompson admits that Matip still has work to do to improve his game but, with time, he’s backing the summer arrival to be a big part of any success that the Merseyside giants experience in the coming years.
“He can become very good – as he still has a lot to learn. People can be very critical of quick centre-backs and say their positioning isn’t great as their speed gets them out of trouble. And Matip’s positional play could be better. He could be a bit tougher, but he is a tremendous prospect.”
“If he beds himself down in this side, I think he will be here for a good few years to come.”
Appearing in 12 of Liverpool’s Premier League matches this season, Matip missed the Merseyside derby through injury and may not return until the New Year.