Joel Matip’s Liverpool career has been full of ups, downs, memorable victories and many injury woes. The Cameroonian has never been able to cement his place alongside Virgil van Dijk because every time he does reach his best form, an untimely injury occurs. And, now, amid all the title celebrations, Liverpool have confirmed that Matip will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining a foot injury in the Merseyside Derby.
Joel Matip Set to Miss Remainder of the Season
An Opportunity for Others to Step Up
Throughout Jurgen Klopp’s tenure, many Liverpool players have been forced to step up in place of injured players. Joe Gomez originally won his place back in the side after Matip’s early-season injury. Andy Robertson, too, was forced to step up in place of Alberto Moreno back in 2017. An injury acts as both a devastating blow and a glorious opportunity; an opportunity that can birth the next big thing. And, with Joel Matip injured, this is an opportunity that currently presents itself to certain players within the Liverpool ranks.
Ki-Jana Hoever, for example, could be presented with the chance to fill in next to van Dijk and prove himself to Klopp and co. The Dutchman has highlighted his ability on the ball and confidence in previous League Cup ties. If given the opportunity, Hoever could well stake his claim as Liverpool’s fourth choice centre back over Dejan Lovren.
With the title now wrapped up, too, Klopp will be keen to hand fringe players the chance to impress and pick up a Premier League winners medal along the way.
Time to Look Elsewhere for Injury-Free Defenders?
Joel Matip’s list of injuries stretches almost as far as his 6’5″ frame. The big defender is simply not reliable enough as a third-choice centre-back; it may be time for Liverpool to look elsewhere. Whether elsewhere is indeed the academy or the transfer market, however, we are yet to find out. For now, though, Liverpool will want to enjoy their lap of glory as they see out what has been an incredible title-winning season.