In his column for the Liverpool Echo, Jan Molby was clear about the status and quality of Joël Matip. What may be interesting for observers is Molby's firm belief that at least one first-team centre back will be inevitably pushed out from Jürgen Klopp's squad. Kolo Touré will be 35 next month and is almost certain to leave in the summer, Steven Caulker appears to be nothing more than a short-term option, and any youngsters will most likely serve as depth behind two or three experienced campaigners.
The imminent arrival of Joel Matip from Schalke in the summer will almost certainly spell trouble for one centre-back at Liverpool. You have to assume Matip will be the number one choice. That's why Jurgen Klopp has bought him, to build the defence around. We've struggled to find a partnership all season, and the question now is who Klopp will prefer alongside the new signing. He'll have a good idea, and with our squad already well blessed in terms of centre-back numbers, I'd not be surprised if one of Mamadou Sakho, Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel are moved on. I've seen Matip play several times. He is a big, strong boy and is very composed, and the fact he has played so many games in a competitive and demanding Bundesliga will serve him well in the Premier League.
Watching the Bundesliga and having an opinion on high-profile players may come as an enormous surprise to some, but Matip's credentials are solid. The Schalke 04 central defender turns 25 in August and will bring seven years of Bundesliga experience with him in the summer. 27 international caps for Cameroon, six straight years of continental experience -- mostly in the Champions League, and a reputation for being a talented defender make this quite a coup for Liverpool.
There will be no attempt to sway opinion on the ensuing vote, but which of the three centre backs mentioned by Molby will be adversely affected by the arrival of Joël Matip?