Joel Matip didn’t start the season as first choice center-back alongside Van-Dijk. However he is on his way to ending the season as the undisputed starter for Klopp.
Michael Owen is in awe of the Cameroonian. He is almost at his peak at 27 years of age. To become first choice for Klopp while competition for places is hot is surely a sign of personal progress.
Opportunities are hard to come by when the team is challenging for top honours, as Matip’s team-mate Origi would testify. Joe Gomez is back from injury and would put in efforts in training to return.
Owen thinks it is impossible to displace Matip from the team after the kind of shifts he has been putting in:
“He’s under pressure now, now Gomez is back fit,”
“You’d have to think it’s his position that Gomez could take.
“But Gomez not played many minutes just yet, so he’s got the shirt. [Dejan] Lovren apparently is not feeling well tonight.
“He’s been brilliant this season, Matip, because I didn’t expect it from him if I’m honest.
“I never really looked at him and thought ‘he’s a Liverpool starter’ in the past.
“But he’s got the shirt and he’s not let it go.”
– Michael Owen