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Matip: I love to create opportunities for my teammates 

The form of Joel Matip has undoubtedly been one of the most pleasing developments in the second half of this campaign. However, there would have been times when the Cameroon international would have wondered if things were ever going to go his way at Liverpool.

Just when it seemed he was ready to stamp his authority on the centre back position, an innocuous injury appeared completely out of the blue such as the collarbone injury sustained in the last minute of the final Champions League group game against Napoli in early December.

Seemingly blessed with the physical attributes to be a impressive central defender, his inability to impose himself in a game sense due to his causal demeanour has consistently frustrated many fans over his time at the club.

However a real opportunity emerged in the early part of 2019. 

After making a quicker than expected recovery from his injury, a spot in the back four opened up with Dejan Lovren who had been deputising for both Joe Gomez and Matip, suffering an hamstring strain in the FA Cup tie against Wolves.

They say good fortune comes in many ways and to the great credit of the 27 year-old, he has taken it with both hands.

Developing a strong bond with your fellow central defender is crucial, and something that Matip lacked in previous stints in the side.

However, after linking up with Virgil Van Dijk, he has progressed to the next level.

There is something a bit special seeing a central defender go on mazy runs up the pitch.

Matip has always had this aspect to his game, but as his confidence has grown, his roaming trips have become all the more frequent to the great delight of the Anfield crowd.

The defender explained to the Official site about his love to have the ball at his feet.

"I'm a defender but I really enjoy to have the ball in all situations.

"We have the ball quite often and I try to help my teammates and try to do something for the team to create something. 

"I really enjoy it. I think it's not bad if you enjoy the way you play.

"When I was young I tried to play from the back. I think that's just the way I am, the way I play. Sometimes it helps and I hope that it will help our team.

"Maybe I should not do it every few minutes but I think he [Klopp] trusts me.

 

"If I step in and the risk is not too high and I can help the team then it's helpful."

 

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Despite having an adventurous nature, Matip knows putting the ball in the back of the net himself is not one of his strengths and he sticks to the basics in this regard.

"I know what I can do and shooting is not my favourite part, so I think it's better to leave the shooting for some others.

"But maybe one day I will be in a better position and also can score with a shot."

Currently enjoying his most consistent run of games as a Liverpool player, Matip knows every team Liverpool comes up against at this time of the season is a considerable test which continues against Huddersfield on Friday night.

"No game in the Premier League is easy, it doesn't matter who you play against.

"They will fight, they will try to earn their respect and they will not come here to give us some points. It will be a tough challenge."


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