After Liverpool broke even in this summer’s transfer window, their fans weren’t particularly overwhelmed with the business their club had conducted.
They had watched arch-rivals Manchester United spend £150 million, smashing the world transfer fee in the meantime by signing Paul Pogba for £89m. Meanwhile, the Reds had spent less than £70m and received the same amount for player sales.
While they spent big to bring in Sadio Mane (£35m) and Georginio Wijnaldum (£25m), their best piece of business may have come free of charge.
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That’s certainly the opinion of Jamie Carragher who has hailed the acquisition of Joel Matip.
Carragher - who established himself as a club legend by making 737 appearances in Liverpool’s defence - believes that Matip is one of the signings of the season.
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“In the last few weeks you've had Matip coming in and they're looking a lot tighter at the other end of the pitch," he said of Liverpool’s defence.
"Maybe there may not be a need to score three or four goals at one end every game because they're looking a lot better defensively. I think the addition looks like one of the outstanding signings of the season."
Last February, the defender agreed to join Liverpool when his contract expires at Schalke at the end of the season. The 25-year-old eventually arrived in the summer and has settled in impressively.
While Klopp’s side certainly don’t have the best defence in the league, they have shown signs of improvements recently with two consecutive clean sheets.
At the heart of that defence is Matip, who is forming a solid partnership alongside Dejan Lovren. Not only is the Cameroonian strong both aerially and in the tackle, he has already shown ability to bring the ball out from the back and start attacks.
Matip’s performances have helped Liverpool establish themselves as genuine title challengers this season as they sit just one point behind league leaders Chelsea.
Although Liverpool have a reputation of having a leaky defence, conceding just 14 goals in 13 matches suggests that Matip has helped Klopp’s side become more stable at the back. And when Carragher is calling you “outstanding”, then you know you’re doing something right.
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