Joel Matip praises ‘complete’ Liverpool FC star and runs rule over Ibrahima Konate
Joel Matip singles out fellow Liverpool FC defenders Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate for special praise
Joel Matip has described Virgil van Dijk as “the complete” centre-half and has praised the start Ibrahima Konate has made to life at Liverpool FC.
Van Dijk has made a welcome return to the Liverpool FC team this season after he missed most of the previous campaign due to a serious knee injury.
The Dutchman has started all seven of the Merseyside outfit’s games in the Premier League this term, making one assist to help Jurgen Klopp’s men into second place in the table. Van Dijk has also featured in one of the Reds’ two Champions League games.
The 30-year-old is widely considered to be one of the top central defenders in European football and Matip, also 30, has revealed his delight at being able to link up with Van Dijk once again in the Reds team.
“It has been great for me to play alongside Virgil again,” Matip told the Liverpool FC magazine. “It was a long time for him to be out and I am really happy to see him back on the pitch.
“He’s the complete centre-back. He is calm with the ball and great against the ball. He is a leader when we are playing and we missed him, but now he is back and that is good for us.”
The former Cameroon international also went on to praise Konate, who was Liverpool FC’s only summer signing from RB Leipzig ahead of the new campaign.
The 22-year-old French defender, who scored one goal in 14 Bundesliga games last season, has notched up two appearances in all competitions for the Reds so far as he gets used to the rigours of English football.
“Ibou is settling in really good,” Matip said. “It always takes some time to settle in general and in the defence to get a good connection.
“It needs time before I know how he will react and he will know how I react. We have trained a lot together and it will always need some time next to a new player, but he is already going really well.”
Liverpool FC have the chance to move to the top of the Premier League table on Saturday lunchtime when they travel to face Watford, before Chelsea FC head to Brentford in the evening kick-off.