Liverpool’s squad this season is pretty deep. That has been a sentiment we’ve bandied around these parts pretty often. In fact, I’ve heard whispers that this current squad assembled might be, front-to-back, the single most talented Liverpool side ever constructed.
Obviously, caveats abound. The biggest of which happens to be the thing that Liverpool are chasing this season: the Premier League title and an end to their 30 year drought.
Still, there’s no getting around it: this squad is absolutely stacked. And one of the positions that at present is four men deep is center back with Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, and Dejan Lovren all capable of bringing quality minutes against most Premier League offenses.
Van Dijk has been the clear top choice for one of the slots since coming aboard, essentially becoming the best defender in Europe over his time as a Red. Slotting in next to him, though, has been a bit of a rotation. This season, though, there has been not question that Joel Matip belongs in the top pairing with the Dutchman. Matip’s strong defending is an obvious reason, but that his penchant for mazy runs from the back pairs quite nicely with Van Dijk’s ability to place a pass of any range is quite the gift. When both defenders are on their game, starting an attack after winning the ball back is both stunningly simple on our end and incredibly difficult for the opposing team as they try to sort the contrasting nature of Matip and Van Dijk on the ball.
Matip’s September was particularly brilliant as most observers would note the strength of his performances simply hit a different gear. To that point, it should be no surprise that Joel Matip was voted the PFA Player of the Month for September. It is an honor well-deserved after a strong showing of performances.
Here’s hoping Joel can keep it going once he recovers from his knock and gets back out under those Anfield lights.