Liverpool legend John Aldridge has likened new signing Joel Matip to former star defender Sami Hyypia and believes that the Cameroon international can become just as influential as the ex-Reds captain.
Aldridge was prolific for the Anfield club during their domination of English football in the late 1980s, scoring 63 times in 104 games. Meanwhile, Hyypia made an incredible 464 appearances for Liverpool across a ten-year spell, netting 35 goals of his own.
Jurgen Klopp's side produced another top-class away performance to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Friday night, and after watching the game it was Matip in particular who caught Aldridge's eye.
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He joined Liverpool on a free transfer from Schalke in the summer and, while it is still very early in Matip's career on Merseyside, Aldridge has already heaped praise onto the 24-year-old.
In his Liverpool Echo column, the 58-year-old wrote, "The only thing we don't have yet is a clean sheet in the league, but hopefully that will come. And look, if Joel Matip continues in this manner, there's no doubt it will be sooner rather than later."
Aldridge continued, "He was brilliant on Friday. He went to ground a little bit too early for their goal, but other than that, he didn't put a foot wrong. He's still learning and adapting, so that mistake will only help him improve further.
"Another thing I realised against Chelsea is just how I feel a lot more confident defending set plays because of him in the back four. Matip's size and height means he's winning those high balls in the box, he's a real man mountain.
"He reminds me of Sami Hyypia in that respect, in how he likes to get his head on everything. We've looked susceptible from set pieces in recent times, now we look solid."
In his short Premier League career, Matip has already faced Tottenham, the champions Leicester City and most recently Chelsea, and he's looked impressive in each of those tests.
He looks to have formed a strong understanding with central defensive partner Dejan Lovren and Liverpool fans will hope to see them in their defence when they travel to Derby County in the EFL Cup tomorrow and when they host Hull City in the league this Saturday.
Can Matip become one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!
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