Over his latest injury setback and headed to sunny Spain for a mid-season training camp, Liverpool fans will be looking forward to seeing Joël Matip play again. What they’ll be less excited about is that they still have to wait nearly two weeks for that, with the club not set to face Leicester City until the 27th.
It’s like an international break. Only with the players headed off to La Manga rather than to their national teams. And it means there isn’t a lot of actual football to focus on. But there is Matip reflecting on some of the best and worst from his first eight months at Anfield and on his Liverpool teammates.
“I think the language always helps,” he told the Liverpool Echo when they asked the Bochum-born defender just who it was on the team he’d become Melwood besties with since arriving at his new club in England last summer. “Dejan, Loris, Emre, Ragnar. I always come and speak to them.”
In fact, Dejan Lovren seems to have made quite the impression on Matip. The funniest player in the squad? “Dejan.” The hardest player? “Also Dejan.” Best tackler? “Back to Dejan.” Not that it was wall-to-wall Lovren, though. Jordan Henderson is Matip’s pick as the squad’s future Sky pundit.
Plus there was some stuff about how Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho are the two most talented footballers at the club. But none of us are here this week for serious football talk and wondering about Sturridge’s future and if he can get back on track at Liverpool. So.
More importantly, Alberto Moreno, despite being displaced at left back by James Milner, has made a major impression on Matip, who picked him out as the player with the best hair in the squad: “This one day he came with his blonde hair and I was like whoa.” Alberto Moreno. Whoa, indeed.
Matip then singled out Moreno as also having the worst hair in the squad. Sometimes, even when you win, you lose. Sorry, Alberto.