Liverpool will be losing out Sadio Mane for the African Cup of Nations but there is some good news as Joel Matip is to remain at Anfield during the tournament. The former Schalke defender was expected to remain in England but there were rumours stating that he had spoken with the management of the Cameroon national side.
Speaking to the Liverpool’s official website, the 25-year-old stated that he wanted to concentration his Liverpool career and it was a tough decision to make.
“It’s not an easy decision but I want to concentrate on Liverpool. I want to be here.
“I want to focus on Liverpool and that’s what I had to decide. I think I took the right decision.”
The decision will come as huge relief for the Liverpool fans. The Reds have been poor whenever the Cameroon international has not starred in the starting XI. The best example of that can be seen when they faced Bournemouth last weekend.
The Merseyside club were leading 3-1 in the second half but capitulated to lose the game in the last minute 4-3. More than an incredible attack from the Cherries, it was a lack of defensive stability that cost them the three points.
A strong centre-back pairing was developing for the Reds
Liverpool were enjoying the start of a great centre-back pairing between Dejan Lovren and Matip. The duo had helped the side keep clean sheets against Southampton and Sunderland but that was broken as Matip had to nurse an ankle injury prior to the game at the Vitality.
Lucas Leiva stepping in didn’t help the side but truth be told, the entire back four was poor and even the goalkeeper Loris Karius had to deal with a nightmare performance. Jurgen Klopp though has spoken out in support of his goalkeeper while Matip is hopeful of making a positive impression in the game against West Ham.
Liverpool needs to keep a lid on the defence and Matip has been one of the best players to have joined the club in the summer. Credit must be given to Klopp and his team of scouts for signing the 25-year-old defender on a free transfer from Schalke, even before his contract came to an end at the club.
Hopefully, Matip can remain injury free for the rest of the season as the Reds looks to return to the Champions League next season. They have had a great start to the campaign but have to keep this momentum going for the entire 38 game Premier League season.