Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has told the club it is time to get rid of Joel Matip.
The centre-back has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a ligament injury. It is the latest in a long line of setbacks that have disrupted his Anfield career.
Matip has been on Merseyside since 2016, when he joined from Schalke. He was reliable when called upon for his first three seasons at the club, but was only able to make nine appearances in the Premier League last term.
This season, he has taken on extra responsibility after the injuries to fellow defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. However, he too has now succumbed to a long-term blow.
It has prompted Liverpool to sign Ozan Kabak from Matip’s former club Schalke, as well as Ben Davies from Preston. When Matip returns, he will now have extra competition for his place.
Now there are more options for Liverpool, Aldridge believes it might be best for the 29-year-old to move on at the next available opportunity.
“The win at Spurs came at a cost as Joel Matip picked up yet another injury and harsh as this might sound, Liverpool may need to move on from him now,” Aldridge told the Sunday World.
“He is a decent defender and when he is fit. He has been a great player over the last couple of years. But his body just won’t stand up to the rigours of the Premier League.
“Liverpool need defenders who can play three games a week if required and Matip has confirmed now that he can’t fulfil that need.
“I’m sure Liverpool will look to sign a defender next summer with a view to him being either first or second choice partner for Van Dijk when he is back to full fitness.”
New signings were needed
Aldridge was writing before Liverpool signed Kabak and Davies, but he knew that the club needed to bring bodies in to sustain their title defence.
“Klopp was producing minor miracles with a team denied the services of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez and was doing his best to cover holes in his defence with temporary plasters,” he continued.
“Using Fabinho at centre-back worked well, and captain Jordan Henderson also did his best when he dropped back from midfield to play in defence. However winning a title without proven defenders was always going to be an impossible task.”
Matip remains under contract at Anfield until 2024. He has made 123 appearances in all competitions for the club so far.