This is a Joel Matip's appreciation post. It is not always easy to become the partner of Virgil van Dijk in the heart of the defense. Sure, your jobs may become a lot easier, after all the Dutchman is quite unstoppable last season and is in line to receive the Ballon d'Or award at the end of this year. But the pressure of being always compared to your defensive partner may become unbearable at times. There were times last season when pundits would predict that Matip's level was dragged upward by his partner. As soon as Van Dijk dropped five percent, the impact would be severely felt by the man alongside him. How wrong we were.
None of us accounted for Joel Matip rising to the challenge and then above and beyond. He was so solid that we are now not missing a player of Joe Gomez' calibre at all. Matip has been named as the Premier League’s Player of the Month for September 2019, a period in which Liverpool won three games out of three in the league and conceded just twice. “In a world of big transfer fees, signing a player like Joel Matip on a free transfer is incredible, that was maybe one of the best pieces of business we did in the last years,” Jürgen Klopp said of the defender, who became one of his first Reds arrivals when he signed a pre-contract agreement in 2016 and joined from Schalke that summer.
This is an away player issue kit for 2017/18 season, with the commemorative crest celebrating 125 years of the club. Not the best design from New Balance actually, with the main inspiration came from the chequered away 1995 shirt, but fell short on the overall execution.
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