Jurgen Klopp recognised quite early on that his defence needs improving, making his 2nd signing Joel Matip, a central defender from Shalke 04. He signed a free transfer and joined the squad at the end of the season.
He can also play in midfield and has made over 200 appearances for Schalke since making his debut at the age of 18.
Matip has worked his way up to become one of the Bundesliga’s most respected central defenders in his 7 years in Gelsenkirchen. He is known for his tackling ability and also for being comfortable on the ball. These are the perfect qualities to complement either Lovren or Sakho.
Leaving Shalke 04
Explaining his decision to leave Schalke, Matip said:
“I have always said that there is only one reason I would leave Schalke – to experience something completely new.”
“For that reason, I never considered a move to another Bundesliga club. Even though the decision wasn’t easy, I am certain that this is the right moment for me to take the next step in my career.”
Klopp utilising German market
Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool have saved millions by moving decisively for Joel Matip managing to get him for free rather than sourcing an alternative on the open market in the summer.
Horst Heldt, the Schalke sporting director said;
“His decision is nothing against Schalke. He wants to try something new. We have held extensive discussions with both the player and his agent since May. It became clear very quickly that certain decisive factors meant we would not be able to influence his decision.”