Matip: This quality will allow me to thrive against Premier League stars
By Dominic Toner
Liverpool signing Joel Matip believes his best defensive attribute is his aerial prowess and that will help him fit in to the Premier League this season.
It appears he will not have to wait long for a chance with the 24-year-old and Dejan Lovren the only fit senior centre-backs in the squad, as defenders Joe Gomez and Mamadou Sakho are before suffering with achilles injuries.
Liverpool have entered the transfer market for a new centre-back but there is no guarantee a deal will be done in time for the start of the season.
Matip told he Liverpool Echo: “I am very good under high balls, especially at corners and set-pieces. The Premier League is much more physical and I will have to adapt a little bit because the style of play is a little different.
“There’s pressure but I want that – it’s the reason why I came here. I think I am good enough and I’ll show this.”
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The defender joined Liverpool on a free transfer from Schalke this summer after ending a 16-year association with the German club.
He has been nurtured as a youngster in to a ball playing centre-back after he was converted from a midfielder.
He decided to play international football for Cameroon after he was eligible through his father and went on feature in the 2010 World Cup, and even grabbed a goal in their defeat to five-time champions Brazil.
Jurgen Klopp looks set to start the new league season with Matip and Lovren as his defensive partners, although he is holding back allowing Andre Wisdom to leave the club as he may still be required.
In other Liverpool news, they are looking to offload their unwanted striker quickly as clubs begin to hold talks.