Football

Joel Matip was brought in on a free in the summer.

John Aldridge believes Liverpool defender is the signing of the summer

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It's been a blistering start to the new season for Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, as they sit comfortably in second place, just six points off leaders Chelsea.

There is simply no doubting Liverpool's proficiency going forward. The Reds have amassed an astonishing 41 goals for the campaign, more than any other side.

Impressively, Liverpool also have five players who have scored five or more goals this season, with the next best club being Arsenal with three.

Even coping with the loss of star man Philippe Coutinho has proved no problem. The Merseyside club have averaged 2.4 goals per game with and without the flamboyant Brazilian.

However, it is defensively where question marks have been made.

Liverpool have shipped more goals than even Middlesbrough this season, and pundits are often found citing their inability to defend and grind out a result as the reason to why Liverpool cannot lift the Premier League title.

When Loris Karius was brought in from Mainz, everyone connected with the club breathed a sigh of relief - they had finally found the answer to their goalkeeping dilemma.

Though, flash forward four months and Karius is struggling to adapt to Premier League life. His blunder that ultimately handed Liverpool defeat, and an abrupt end to their 14-match unbeaten run, saw the German dropped indefinitely.

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League

With such uncertainty at the back, sides always feel as if they have a route back into the game. However, a Liverpool legend John Aldridge has a far differing few.

Speaking exclusively to 888sport, he said: “There have been some hiccups but the Bournemouth game apart defensively Liverpool have been good. That’s the fifth clean sheet in the last eight which isn’t bad is it."

"Mignolet in goal has been a calming influence, while Klavan can dominate at the back – he’s a very old-fashioned centre-back – and has been excellent.

"For me, though, Matip is possibly the signing of the summer.”

Swansea City v Liverpool - Premier League

Undoubtedly, Joel Matip has been highly impressive and commanding in central defence and has been rightfully praised by footballing pundits.

Perhaps Aldridge raises a valid point, five clean sheets in eight is not bad going by any standards, and given their free-scoring nature, one would assume that such continued defensive stability will result in serious points.

Since his restoration to the side, Mignolet has kept two clean sheets in two and has brought a sense of calm to the back four.

Read the full 888sport interview with John Aldridge, including his thoughts on Liverpool’s defensive frailties and how Karius will bounce back

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Topics:
Steven Gerrard
Luis Suarez
Football
Premier League
Fernando Torres
Liverpool
Daniel Sturridge

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