When your team is doing as well as the current iteration of Liverpool is, it only makes sense that management would do their very best to keep the group of players together in order to maintain squad cohesion in the long term.
Although reports of Ballon d’Or favourite Virgil van Dijk signing a new deal appear to have been premature, first teamers Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi, and young starlets Curtis Jones and Ki-Jana Hoever have already extended their deals, and according to The Athletics James Pearce, Joël Matip is next in line, with the club having triggered an option to extend his original four-year deal by another season.
Arriving from Schalke on a free transfer back in 2016, proving once and for all that Michael Edwards reads TLO, the 28-year old has quietly established himself as the de facto first-choice partner to van Dijk this season, climbing the ranks past Ragnar Klavan, Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez on his way there.
The first centre-back at the club since Mamadou Sakho with the ability to consistently thread a sliderule pass through the opponent’s pressing lines, Matip typically takes on the majority of the Reds’ playmaking responsibilities from the back, all the while possessing enough pace to play in Jürgen Klopp’s high line, the height and vertical leap to dominate in the air, and the wavy-arms inflatable ballon man build to fill all your meme needs.
A contract extensions, then, appears to be the very least Matip deserves, and with this deal keeping him at the club until his 30th birthday, it remains to be seen if he is able to earn himself another, hopefully having picked up another trophy or two in the process.