Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes that an injury-free run for Joel Matip will allow the defender to prove his “incredible” worth to the club.
Matip has emerged as Liverpool‘s only senior centre-back option, amid the Reds’ defensive crisis. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are both out with long-term knee injuries.
But despite Matip serving as an effective addition since his move, he does not have the most unblemished injury record either. The Cameroonian has suffered several problems since his Anfield move, including this season.
However, speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, Klopp has backed Matip to prove his doubters wrong.
Asked if, at 29, the centre-back is approaching the peak of his powers, the manager replied: “The best football age! Joel, since he was with us, he is incredible. He was incredible before, that’s why we signed him.
“He is an incredible football player, it’s unbelievable how good he is. Yes, he was unlucky with injuries. Before he arrived here he had no injuries, played for Schalke pretty much through four, five or six years.
“Here, when it starts with one and you have to be lucky from a specific moment, but they were all different. The last injury he had, someone cut his tendon on the toe by swishing, it was in the Everton game last season.
“Then you are out and it looks like you are vulnerable or whatever, but it’s just something everybody would have had if you are in the situation.”
“Now he’s back and hopefully for a long time. If he is in the best moment of his career, I don’t know. But I was really happy with the moment of his career he was in for the last four years. Super player.”
Firmino addresses Jota rivalry talk
Meanwhile, Roberto Firmino has spoken out on the prospect of a personal rivalry with Diogo Jota.
The pair have battled for game time in recent weeks, something which seemed unthinkable before Jota’s arrival.
However, amid the recent signing immediately proving his worth, Firmino was asked if he sees the Portuguese’s form as a threat.