Liverpool opinion – Joel Matip in contract talks – good deal?
According to a report in Football.London, Liverpool centre-back Joel Matip has opened new contract talks with the club. His current deal expires next summer, hence, the timing of this negotiation, if done, could be impeccable.
With Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez missing games since the turn of this year, the former Cameroon international is having a good run in the side. Moreover, he is doing a good job as well.
The 27-year-old, who arrived on a free transfer from Schalke in the summer of 2016, hasn’t been able to grab that number one centre-back spot in the team. However, his performance level and consistency in the past three months is commendable, to say the least.
Even though Lovren is now back fit and raring to go, manager Jurgen Klopp is sticking with Matip to partner Virgil van Dijk. It shows that the former Schalke man has taken his latest opportunity and is determined to not let it go.
Before we go any further, let’s take a slight dip into some stats accompanying the £70,000-a-week defender’s performance and analyse his performance in general:
Stats Analysis – Joel Matip, Liverpool’s ideal fallback option
Joel Matip has played 20 league games and bas been available for selection for most part of this season. It shows that he can be relied upon to slot in and do an adequate job for the team.
Taking numbers into account, he has made tackles and interceptions at a rate of 1.8 and 1.4 respectively. The tackle success rate is close to 67%, which is higher than normal.
The 27-year-old has won aerial duels at an average of three per game, meaning he is adept in dealing with the high balls towards the opposition centre-forwards. It also epitomises his ability to be an ideal player in both boxes for Liverpool during set-piece situations.
The passing accuracy of 86% means Matip is very good in playing out from the back. His long diagonal balls towards the left-back or the left-winger is usually pinpoint. It is one of the many ways in which the Reds build their attack in the wide areas. (Premier League, Whoscored)
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All in all, it is clear that Joel Matip has taken his opportunity with both hands and is enjoying playing along side van Dijk. Therefore, it would make sense that Liverpool hand him a new contract.
It might seem that Gomez would be the first-choice partner of van Dijk once he’s back but Matip is a fantastic player who has a good footballing brain. Hence, the former Schalke man would continue to add more defensive know-how to the team and remain an ideal fallback option.