Huge boost as Joel Matip signs new contract with Liverpool
Liverpool have been given a massive boost ahead of the biggest match of our season so far against Manchester United on Sunday, as Joel Matip has signed a new 5-year contract.
The 28 year old has been in - arguably - better form than Virgil Van Dijk since February and is widely regarded by most Liverpool fans as a crucial part of our amazingly staunch defence.
At the start of our European Cup winning season Matip was so far down the order that he was being Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren to partner Virg at centre back. So the gusto and maturity with which he's taken his chance in the past 10 months has been impressive.
Matip signed for the Reds on a free transfer, becoming Klopp's first real signing of note, in 2016 and has since played over 100 games for the club. It was only last season when he firmly established himself though.
After briefly losing out, somewhat unfairly, to Joe Gomez again at the start of the season, Matip was soon restored to the starting line-up and our defence has looked firm once again.
And the lanky centre back's manager has spoken of his delight that the impressive defender is signed up at Anfield for his best years.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: "Joel’s journey at Liverpool is one I love and I am absolutely delighted he has shown his commitment to us by signing this new long-term contract.
"As the team has evolved and become better, so too has Joel."
There's no doubting that Matip has seen exponential improvements and, in current form, is almost certainly one of the best in the Europe. But Klopp has taken that one step further.
He continued: "Joel has been operating as a world-class centre-half throughout this year and long may it continue.
"I haven’t seen many in his position performing with the consistency and quality he has been."