Jamie Carragher: This Liverpool defender twice as good when Joel Matip plays

The Liverpool legend claims Dejan Lovren is a much better player when he is partnered with Joel Matip at the back

Jamie Carragher has claimed that Joel Matip brings out the best in Liverpool team-mate Dejan Lovren when the pair start at centre-half for Jurgen Klopp.

The retired Cameroon international has struggled with injuries since his summer move to Liverpool from Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 on a free transfer.

Matip made his Premier League debut in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in August as he managed to tame England international Harry Kane.

Liverpool haven’t lost a game when Matip has started at centre-half alongside Lovren but the African hasn’t been named in Klopp’s XI for a Premier League clash since a 2-2 draw with West Ham United at Anfield in early December.

Speaking to Sky Sports about Matip’s return to the Liverpool side after his recent absence, Carragher explained how the Cameroonian defender brings out the best in Lovren.

“It’s also the effect that he has on the other players he has around him. I always think that’s a sign of a top defender. Your influence on the back four. Lovren is twice the player alongside him. It looks a really good partnership,” Carragher said.

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Liverpool are in fourth place in the Premier League table but 10 points adrift of current leaders Chelsea with 16 games to play.

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