Now that the hub-bub over the summer transfer window is over, we can start looking back at some of the decisions that were made and how they came to pass. Regardless of your personal feelings on the window, bringing in Joël Matip on a free transfer from Schalke has to be seen as a great bit of business.
Now, according to Emre Can, he was told about Liverpool targeting the central defender from the boss himself, Jürgen Klopp.
“Matip is very good for the side,” Can told the official website, “He’s very good on the ball. He was a leader at Schalke and played many years there. I think you need a player like him.
“[Klopp] said to me last year that he always said when he was at Dortmund that when he was at another club he would buy Matip. He liked him a lot and that’s why he brought him here to Liverpool.”
I’d like to think that Klopp repeatedly brought this up to Emre completely out of context in random conversations, and perhaps a few late-night texts. “We’re singing Matip! xoxo, Kloppo.”
Under Klopp, Can has really thrived in his role as a central midfielder, becoming nearly indispensable in the middle of the park. Can’s comments indicate that the Liverpool boss not only trusts him on the pitch but off. Indeed, it must be nice to have an ally in the dressing room, especially when many don’t understand his German footballing philosophy. And for those of us on team #SignAllTheGermans, this can only be seen as a good sign.
Can’s comment also gives some insight into Klopp’s long-term thinking with regards to transfers. It’s not about finding the hot transfer of the summer, but about landing the right player for the squad going forward. Whether he ended up at Liverpool or not, Klopp knew he wanted Matip to anchor his backline.
Despite the disappointing draw in his Premier League debut, Matip already looks like he’ll have no problem fitting into the side going forward. His transfer was never going to be the type to create big, splashy headlines, but he could be just as important of a puzzle piece as we brought in all summer.