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  • David Tyrer

Matip is ready to fight for his Liverpool place

It may not have seemed it at the end of the season, as Joel Matip majestically made the space alongside Virgil Van Dijk his, but his place is not guaranteed next season.

If you ask many Liverpool fans, they'd prefer to see Joe Gomez start the season again beside the Dutch captain, but that does a serious disservice to the brilliance of Matip from last year.

The 27-year old came into the team as fourth choice centre back, behind Gomez and Lovren, with both out injured at the end of last year, and quickly made the spot his own.

It all culminated, of course, in a Champions League winner's medal and Matip is now widely considered one of the best defenders in the Premier League. Which, let's be honest, is what we hoped when we got him on a free from Schalke a few years back.

But, in true understated fashion, the Cameroonian is taking nothing for granted and knows he faces a fight to retain his place this coming season.

He told "It was nice to play and have the success, but a new season begins.

"You start new and last season doesn’t matter. You only have to take the things, learn the things from last year, but we all start from new.

"We have a lot of good players. I try to play as much as possible, but we will see.

"Because of this we have a high-quality squad like this. Everyone needs to step in if someone is missing, injured or not in the best shape. We are looking good and I am looking forward to the season."

Matip is barely yet in the prime of his career, and as a Liverpool fan, we can only hope that we get to see the classy centre back's best years starting again at Anfield next season.

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