By support

11th Dec, 2016 | 6:23pm

Carragher: This Liverpool summer signing has made a huge difference to the side

By Harvey Byrne

Jamie Carragher has claimed Liverpool summer signing Joel Matip has made a “huge difference” to the team this season.

The 25-year-old centre-back agreed to join Jurgen Klopp’s side last February on a pre-contract deal from Bundesliga outfit Schalke.

He has so far played in 14 encounters for the Merseysiders, who are currently occupying third place in the League table.

Former Reds defender and Sky Sports pundit Carragher was full of praise for the Cameroon defender, stating he has also improved team-mate Dejan Lovren.

“I’m sure he’ll make a huge difference,” started Carragher speaking about Matip’s return on Sky Sports’ Super Sunday programme ahead of the West Ham clash.

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“He’s made a huge difference since he’s come in. He brings a calmness to the rest of the team. The effect he’s had on Lovren as well.

“Lovren was back to the Lovren we saw in the first season under Brendan Rodgers last week at Bournemouth and that’s been a really good partnership since Matip’s joined. It’s not just his own performance, it’s the effect he has on everyone else.”

Matip played the full 90 minutes in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against the Hammers at Anfield on Sunday.

The stalemate has seen them left three points behind second placed Arsenal, while they trail league leaders Chelsea by six points.

They remain in the Champions League places by four points following Tottenham’s defeat against Manchester United on Sunday and will face Middlesbrough away in the league next on Wednesday.

It will be a match which Liverpool will be expecting to win with Boro placed in 16th and suffering a 1-0 defeat against Southampton on Sunday.

The two sides have not met in the league since 2009, which saw a 2-0 win for the north east club at the Riverside Stadium with a Tuncay strike alongside a Xabi Alonso own goal.

In other Liverpool news, the Reds are ready to sanction this midfielder deal.