Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has showered praise on centre-back Joel Matip after some hugely impressive performances in recent weeks.
Despite scoring an own goal, Matip was in fine form as Liverpool dumped Bayern Munich out of the UEFA Champions League earlier in the week with a 3-1 aggregate victory.
The defender has been given a chance in the starting lineup after injuries to Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren, and he has grasped the opportunity with both hands.
As quoted on the official club website, Klopp said:
From my side, you cannot get more [praise] because he is an outstanding player. It’s unbelievable how he is doing. We were really unlucky with the situation in the centre-half position because so many injuries is really rare, hopefully, that’s now finished.
Joe Gomez played the first part of the season and was incredible, Dejan played unbelievably good football for us and Joel is doing as well. One of the best games I saw from him was the game against Napoli when he got the injury in the last second of the game, it was incredible.
We had so far a bit of consistency in the position with that pairing. It was important that thank God, Virg could play most of the time and so he always had to adapt to the other one but it was really good and they do a brilliant job, both of them.
Matip’s confidence to bring the ball out from defence has also been noticed in recent weeks as he tries to get the Reds on the front foot. He’ll be hoping for more of the same against Fulham in the Premier League this weekend.
Other Liverpool players who will be hoping to make a breakthrough like Matip
Lallana has struggled a lot with injuries, but he is back to full fitness and will be pushing for a run in the team. He played well against Burnley last weekend on his return to the starting lineup, which will be a confidence boost for him.
Origi’s Liverpool career seemed to be going nowhere in the summer, but he decided to stay at the club and fight for a place in the squad. Scoring in stoppage time against Everton helped his cause, and he’s now making a lot more appearances than expected.
Sturridge has become a bench player for the Reds but he’ll take inspiration from the incredible rise by Matip. As long as he keeps working hard and keeping a positive attitude, his chance to shine will come.
Keita certainly has the talent to be a top class midfielder and he’s slowly settling into life in the Premier League. He’s shown glimpses of quality at times, but he’ll be looking for a long run of starts in the side.