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Klopp Talk: Joël Matip Deserves Praise

The manager wants to spread the love around.

Liverpool FC v Leicester City FC: Premier League Asia Trophy Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images

It does feel as though Joël Matip has become something of a forgotten man at Anfield, but not to Klopp.

After looking so composed in his first season at the club, the arrival of Virgil van Dijk seemed to put him on the back foot a bit, with Klopp looking to rotate Matip and Dejan Lovren alongside the Dutchman. The outstanding form of Joe Gomez this season seemed to cement a clear first choice partnership, but Gomez’ injury has made a place in the side available again. Klopp seems to think Matip could be able to fill it.

“I could write a book about Virgil’s strengths and about Alisson’s strengths, but look what Joel Matip did today”, the Liverpool Echo reports Klopp as saying.

“How good he was, and he has absolutely no rhythm. He trains on the highest level and he’s not even in the squad sometimes. But when we need him, he plays.

“It’s not about one person. Look at Andy Robertson, look at Milly (James Milner), game number 500 (in the Premier League) and he plays at right-back.

“He would have preferred another position on the pitch, but he did the job.

“A centre-half alone can do nothing, a goalie alone can sometimes perform wonders but not always, you need all these boys around. You need the right players, and thank God we could sign these boys.”

Klopp is of course right to emphasise the importance of the squad. This is a time of year with a brutal schedule, in which Liverpool will need to heavily rotate in order to maintain competitive in spring. We have seen Matip, Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno come into the side recently, and we are sure to see more in this vein soon. Liverpool have a much deeper squad than two years ago, and it is absolutely right that these muscles are flexed.

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