By Noel Whelan

16th Sep, 2022 | 8:00pm

Whelan 'sure' Joel Matip will agree deal after 'huge' Liverpool footage

Noel Whelan has claimed Joel Matip is in a “strong position” to negotiate a new Liverpool contract after his triumphant return to the starting eleven against Ajax on Tuesday (13 September).

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 31-year-old’s absence has proven his status as a “big player” at Anfield.

Matip made his first start since 6 August on Tuesday (13 September) and scored the decisive goal as Liverpool beat Ajax 2-1 in the Champions League group stage.

The Cameroon international is currently contracted until June 2024, having signed a five-year deal in 2019.

Matip made 31 Premier League starts last term amid 43 appearances across all competitions as Liverpool won a domestic cup double.

Speaking to The Redmen TV earlier this year (25 May), centre-back partner Virgil van Dijk insisted he wants the former Schalke to sign a new deal.

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Whelan insisted he is “sure” a new deal for Matip will be in the works.

He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “He’s got back in the side after a poor performance from Joe Gomez against Napoli.

“I think he’s proven what a big player he is and what a better partner he is for Van Dijk – and he’s got the winner too.

“As long as he can keep growing that relationship and making the most of Konate being out injured, then it puts him in a strong position to negotiate and agree a new contract.

“2024 is still a long way off, but if he is a regular in this side and an important player – then I’m sure there’ll be a new contract for him in the works.”

In other news, expert shares “amazing” Jude Bellingham claim after Liverpool update today.