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



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.

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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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Liverpool dealt a blow in hunt for promising teenage starlet as Serie A giants are unwilling to sell the player



Liverpool FC transfer news: Inter Milan unwilling to sell Sebastiano Esposito

Calciomercato claims that Inter Milan are unwilling to sell their rising starlet Sebastiano Esposito despite interest from Liverpool.

The 16-year-old was given his debut this season when he came on to face Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League knockout rounds.

Inter could not defeat the Bundesliga side but there is interest in the 16-year-old from Manchester City too (h/t Calciomercato).

The report adds that Inter see him as the future of the club and will only look to loan him out or let him play in the Primavera League.

The 16-year-old has already made a big name for himself with some great performances for the Italy U-17 team, and he seems set to remain with the Serie A giants for a while.

Liverpool need to build on their great season

The Reds have a great first XI but could do with more talent to strengthen the squad.

Esposito might be highly rated but it would be unlikely seeing him break into the first-team or even push the likes of Rhian Brewster and Divock Origi for game time next season.

Rhian Brewster Liverpool

Rhian Brewster

Liverpool need to build on an impressive season and it will be interesting to see our moves in the transfer window. The Reds missed out on the Premier League title by one point but can finish the season on a high by winning the Champions League.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Latest Liverpool transfer news

Liverpool face Tottenham in the final on June 1 and should be favourites to land their first trophy under Jurgen Klopp.

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Liverpool cool interest in £43m South American star as PL rivals make their move



Liverpool FC transfer news: Reds cool interest in Uruguayan striker Maxi Gomez

Liverpool have cooled their interest in 22-year-old Maxi Gomez, according to the Daily Star.

The report claims that the Reds enquired about the Uruguayan sensation, however, they have backed out of a deal to sign the Celta Vigo attacker.

Gomez has impressed at the La Liga side over the past two seasons. The 22-year-old scored 13 times in the league, with five assists to his name during the campaign.

Maxi Gomez

Maxi Gomez

The report adds that the forward has a £43m release clause in his contract and there is interest from our Champions League final opponents, Tottenham.

Spurs have made contact with the player’s representatives, according to the report, while there is also interest from Borussia Dortmund.

Liverpool have a couple of up and coming strikers in the team

Roberto Firmino is the first-choice striker in the team and the Reds have a couple of young options who could do a job in place of the Brazilian.

Divock Origi was the surprise package of the season, nabbing some important goals despite not featuring a lot for the team. The Belgian bagged a brace against Barcelona recently and even scored the winners against Everton and Newcastle in the Premier League.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Latest Liverpool transfer news

Rhian Brewster also seems set to play for the first-team next season, and the forward is one of the most highly-rated youngsters we have in the team.

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(Photos) Liverpool touch down in Marbella for CL training camp with one surprise inclusion



Latest Liverpool news: Liverpool players reach Marbella for Champions League final training

Jurgen Klopp and the rest of the Liverpool team landed in Marbella for their Champions League final training sessions.

The Reds face Tottenham on June 1 at the Wanda Metropolitano for the final of the tournament as they look to win their sixth Champions League crown.

Liverpool visited Marbella earlier this season, and there was one major surprise joining the team in the training camp.

Naby Keita was initially ruled out for the season by Klopp after he picked up an injury against Barcelona. However, his national team manager Paul Put believes the Guinea midfielder could be back for the Champions League final (h/t Liverpool Echo).

The heroes from the win over Barcelona looked to be in the mood, with Georginio Wijnaldum pictured alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Divock Origi, who scored a brace against Barcelona, could get a start in case Roberto Firmino isn’t fit for the final.

The usual suspects for Liverpool

Mohamed Salah also checked into the training camp and the Egyptian could be the difference maker for us in Madrid.

Virgil van Dijk has been excellent for us from the day he signed for us, and his leadership at the back will be one of the keys to winning the Champions League.

Our captain, Jordan Henderson, was also one of the stars in the win over Barcelona while Trent Alexander-Arnold’s crosses led to two goals against the Catalans.

Andy Robertson returned from injury to face Wolves on the final day of the season, and he should be ready to play in the final.

Alisson also pulled off some fantastic saves against Barcelona and won the Premier League Golden Glove award.

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The Reds are slight favourites for the title and we have already defeated Spurs twice in the Premier League this season.

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