John Aldridge compares Joel Matip to Liverpool legend
By Dominic Toner
John Aldridge has compared Joel Matip to former Liverpool defender Sami Hypia.
Matip, 25, moved to Anfield in the summer on a free transfer and has made an impressive start under Jurgen Klopp.
The Cameroon international has begun to forge an imposing partnership alongside team-mate Dejan Lovren and has now made four senior appearances.
Ex-Liverpool striker Aldridge believes that Matip has similar attributes to club legend Hyypia and compared their solidity and ability in the air.
“He (Matip) was brilliant on Friday. He went to ground a little bit too early for their goal, but other than that, he didn’t put a foot wrong,” Aldridge wrote in the Echo. “He’s still learning and adapting, so that mistake will only help him improve further.
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“Matip’s size and height means he’s winning those high balls in the box, he’s a real man mountain. He reminds me of Sami Hyypia in that respect, in how he likes to get his head on everything.”
Hyypia enjoyed a successful 10-year stay at Anfield and is well remember for his physical presence in the backline.
The Finish centre-back made 439 appearances for the Merseyside club and played in the club’s famous Champions League triumph as they lifted the trophy in Istanbul during the 2004/05 season.
Matip will hope to emulate the success of Hyypia and is set to become the club’s first-choice centre-back.
The defender is currently experiencing his first taste of English football after leaving German side Schalke.
He graduated through the club’s youth set up and went on to make 258 appearances in their first team.
The towering defender impressed against Chelsea last Friday and enjoyed the physical battle with Diego Costa.
The height of Matip makes him a real threat in the air and he appears to have steadied the Liverpool defence.
In other Liverpool news, Garth Crooks has named three of the club’s players in his team of the week.