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Opinion: Virgil van Dijk is the gold standard but this Liverpool star has stepped up immensely in 2019

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Liverpool opinion: Joel Matip has been the unsung hero for Liverpool in 2019

Liverpool lost Joe Gomez to a fractured lower leg in December against Burnley.

The English centre-back had done a wonderful job alongside Virgil van Dijk at the start of the campaign, and losing him for a couple of months was a big blow.

Matters were made worse when his fracture didn’t heal quickly. The youngster had to go under the knife which kept him out for an additional month.

Virgil van Dijk & Joe Gomez of Liverpool

Dejan Lovren was having fitness issues and Jurgen Klopp turned to one of his first signings at Liverpool, Joel Matip, to solve his centre-back problem.

The Cameroon defender was shunted down the pecking order at the start of the season, but the 27-year-old is possibly playing in the form of his life.

Matip showing his class alongside Van Dijk

It is difficult to ascertain if playing alongside Van Dijk turns every defender into a world-class centre-back but that is exactly what Matip has been since the start of 2019.

We must remember that the former Schalke defender missed a month with a broken collarbone suffered in the Champions League win over Napoli.

The 27-year-old hasn’t wowed Anfield since moving on a free from Schalke, however, he has been close to perfect in recent weeks.

In the last 10 games, Matip has started, we have only conceded seven goals. It isn’t easy coming into a team and performing at a high level, especially with so much riding on the season, but the centre-back has shown his class at the back.

Matip isn’t the quickest defender in the world but he does have one skill that is always on show, the ability to dribble with the ball.

The 27-year-old doesn’t always look like he is in control when he charges into the opposition half, but he causes havoc at the back.

His dribbles have caused mayhem in several games and it is only a matter of time when he smacks the ball into the net like Daniel Agger used to.

It is also telling that the manager hasn’t changed the pairing of Van Dijk and Matip even after Gomez  returned to fitness.

Gomez might be preferred to Matip but Klopp is taking his time bringing the Englishman back into the side.

The defender has made a couple of sub appearances recently and it seems like the right decision from Klopp to keep Matip in the starting XI.

Read more Liverpool news, click here – Latest Liverpool news

The Cameroonian wasn’t our first-choice at the start of the season at the back, but his performances have proved he is capable of doing a fine job for the Reds.

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French journalist claims this World Cup winner could consider Liverpool move

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Kylian Mbappe

French journalist says Kylian Mbappe will consider Liverpool move

Kylian Mbappe has already established himself as one of the best players in the world. Having won the World Cup with France, the youngster has carved out a reputation for himself.

According to ESPN (h/t Liverpool Echo), French journalist Julian Laurens has stated that the player views Liverpool as an attractive proposition. The stumbling block, however, is the fee which is expected to be around €300million to €350million – including bonuses.

Mbappe has been quite vocal in his admiration for Liverpool and recently praised the Reds for their mentality. (h/t Express)

An exciting prospect at Monaco, Mbappe has set the league alight since his move to PSG. He won the French Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019 and led the national team to the World Cup in 2018.

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe is one of the best players in the world (Image credit: Getty)

In 2018, he was accorded the ‘Legion of Honour’ – France’s highest order of merit for his role in the national team’s World Cup victory. (h/t Daily Mail)

An expensive gamble

Liverpool are currently the European and World Champions. However, it is unlikely for us to pay anything close to the amount quoted. The same was stated by Jurgen Klopp in an earlier interview. (h/t The Times)

Apart from the transfer fee, Liverpool will also have to restructure their wage structure to accommodate the Frenchman. It would open a Pandora’s box that might disrupt the squad’s harmony. Laurens also went on to say that Real Madrid remain Mbappe’s dream move.

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There is no doubt that Mbappe is one of the world’s best. The Reds, however, must emphasize on buying for the system rather than tweaking a system to fit a player. Liverpool are already in possession of a team with its best years ahead. It will be interesting to see if Mbappe joins that unit.

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Liverpool interested in signing French teenager available for €100m

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Liverpool tracking Rennes youngster Eduardo Camavinga

French teenager Eduardo Camavinga is enjoying an impressive season for Rennes in the Ligue 1.

The 17-year-old is having a breakout season and has made 28 appearances in all competitions for the Roazhon Park outfit, chipping in with a goal and an assist. (h/t Whoscored)

According to Calciomercato (h/t Liverpool Echo), Liverpool are interested in securing the signature of the youngster.

Camavinga has been at the club since the age of 11 and is the youngest player to win the French Ligue 1 Player of the Month award. (h/t Metro)

Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga celebrates for Rennes (Image credit: AFP)

The impressive youngster has also drawn interest from Manchester United, AC Milan, and Barcelona. According to the report (h/t Liverpool Echo), German giants Borussia Dortmund look to have gained the upper hand in securing the player and are now favourites.

One for the future?

Liverpool are currently well-stocked in the midfield and it is hard to imagine Camavinga breaking into the first XI.

James Milner is in the twilight years of his career whereas Henderson and Wijaldum will turn 30 this year. To that end, Camavinga could be potentially groomed to take their spot in the future.

Considered one of the best young players in the world, the 17-year-old has been likened to former Argentine star Fernando Redondo in his prime.

Camavinga is comparable to some of Ligue One’s more accomplished players (Source: Whoscored)

Camavinga is equally adept at playing in central midfield and defensive midfield. Rennes are understood to be holding out for €100million for the youngster.

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At the age of just 17, Camavinga has already made 31 appearances for Rennes and also made his debut for the French Under-21 side.

Liverpool have already been linked with the likes of Kai Havertz and also have Marko Grujic returning from his loan spell in the summer. Whether the Reds bid for Camavinga or not remains to be seen.

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French World Cup winner expresses admiration for relentless Liverpool side

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Kylian Mbappe

French superstar Kylian Mbappe amazed by ‘very good’ Liverpool

French superstar Kylian Mbappe has expressed his admiration for Liverpool amidst rumours linking him with a summer move to Anfield. (h/t Express)

The 21-year-old is the best young player on the planet and has expressed his admiration for Liverpool’s title charge this season.

Calling the Reds a ‘machine’, Mbappe has been impressed by Liverpool’s ability to attain a winning rhythm one match after the other.

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe was PSG’s top scorer in the previous campaign (Image credit: Getty)

Mbappe was full of praise for the Merseysiders’ focus as they extended their unbeaten run in the league to 39 games.

The Liverpool faithful will be pleased to see the attention they have got from the French striker. Mbappe continues to be linked to Liverpool in spite of Jurgen Klopp labelling the player too expensive. (h/t Times)

Mbappe, however, chose to remain coy on his future and went on to assert his commitment to helping PSG win titles this season.

“At the end of the season, we will see. But now I’m focused on my game.”

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Jurgen Klopp will not sell any first-team players this January
Liverpool enquire about ‘the new Andrea Pirlo’ Sandro Tonali
Liverpool to recall striker Taiwo Awoniyi from Mainz loan

Liverpool are 16 points clear at the top with a game in hand and look set to end the 30-year wait for the league title. The Reds have already crowned themselves World Champions and are on course for a treble. With the Reds going from strength to strength; it is no surprise that we are grabbing the attention of talents such as Mbappe.

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