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    • Jürgen Klopp was beaming from ear to ear after Joel Matip signed a long term deal at the Reds on Friday.

      Matip was one of signings from early in Klopp's early days at Liverpool and therefore there is a extra level of pride to see his development at the club.

      That was clearly evident as the German spoke to the Official site.

      “Joel’s journey at Liverpool is one I love and I am absolutely delighted he has shown his commitment to us by signing this new long-term contract.

      “As the team has evolved and become better, so too has Joel.

      “I said earlier this year that signing a player of his quality is one of the best, incredible pieces of business we’ve done since I started here – and I think now that’s something everyone can see.

      Despite not being a household name in England, Klopp was certain that the Cameroon defender would be up to the task of playing for a club like Liverpool after seeing him at close quarters in Germany.  

      “ I knew what he was capable of from seeing him up close in the Bundesliga and we were certain he could bring that performance level to us.

      “Of course, it is not easy for any player coming to the Premier League, let alone coming to a club the size of Liverpool, so maybe in the beginning there were some questions externally about his consistency. But not anymore.

      “Joel has been operating as a world-class centre-half throughout this year and long may it continue.

      “I haven’t seen many in his position performing with the consistency and quality he has.

      “ Off the pitch, Joel is one of the nicest, most humble guys you could wish to meet, but on it he is a fighter, someone who gives everything to try to help the team get the victory. 

      “He has a winner’s mentality.

      “He loves what he is doing and for us to have him here for even longer is perfect for us all.”

      Klopp is someone who has spoken openly about the squad depth at his disposal and the mentality that runs through it.

      He feels very lucky to have such a strong defensive collective.

      “Obviously here at Liverpool, we’re very lucky to have not only him, but also Virg, Dejan and Joe in the position. I’m fortunate to be able to pick from such outstanding talent.”
       
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    • Another piece of the Liverpool long-term future was locked away on Friday when central defender Joel Matip committed to the club for the long term.

      The future of the Cameroon defender has been one of much speculation in the past few months especially with a number of his teammates signing long term deals.

      Matip had always shown potential after signing from Schalke on a free transfer in the summer of 2016, but what he lacked was continuity after falling victim to a number of niggling injuries.

      Finally, things started to fall the way of the 28 year-old at the start of 2019 and he has not looked back since, combining with Virgil Van Dijk to arguably be the best central defensive pairing in Europe.

      Matip ended any doubt on his future yesterday when he signed on the dotted line and discussed his Liverpool journey to this point along with what he hopes to achieve in the future with the Official site.

      “ It’s a great feeling to be a longer part of the club. It’s really just a great feeling.

      “ It is an honour to be a part of the club. It makes me happy that people think I’ve done a good job and they want to keep me.

      Matip, who is likely to return to the starting lineup for the clash against Man United tomorrow said that it was a challenge to adapt to a new league, but he had plenty of teammates to assist him.

      “It is more physical in the Premier League and it is often quite quick – quicker than the Bundesliga, I would say. 

      " The individual quality you have to face from week to week here is really impressive, but my teammates are top and so we can play.

      “ It was the whole club; all of my teammates (who helped me)”

      “All of them were directly friendly and I had never a feeling that I was the new guy. They made me feel at home.

      Reflecting on the Champions League success of last season, the humble defender sai that it is a moment that he will never forget.

      “This is one of the dreams that every young footballer or young kid has, but normally you know it probably won’t come true. 

      “Now I am part of this club and we won the Champions League, that’s something nobody can ever take away from you. 

      Not one to be content with past glory,  Matip says he and the rest of the squad have the hunger to build on that success.

      “Of course. You don’t want it to be the end. 

      “We have a young and talented team and I think every one of us is hungry.   "Now we’ve seen how it is to win something and we want to have that feeling again.

      “Sometimes you need a little bit of luck and a lot of work to have this success.   "We’ve had it now, but we are focused to repeat it and repeat it.  
      Matip knows full well how hard it is to earn a spot in the starting 11 and now he has that in his grasp, he is not looking to give it up in a hurry.

      However, he knows that there is still room for improvement in his overall game.

      “ It is always good if you play. I had some problems with injuries, but this belongs to a player’s life.   "I hope that I am getting better and better, that’s my only target.

      “As a centre-back you maybe need some more time to learn. 

      “I have had now enough time to learn, but I still can learn – I want to improve, even when I am 30 or something like this. I always want to improve, I always want to learn. 

      “It is the only way it works – if you want to get better, you have to learn.

      Matip says that his Centre Back partner in Van Dijk is the consummate professional who makes everyone in the squad a better player.

      “He is a complete centre-back – strong at the back and also in attack, at every set-piece he is a threat for every team and everybody is looking to him. 

      “He is helping his teammates, it doesn’t matter if you’re a midfielder, or me or the left-back, he makes everybody better. 

      “That’s a great help for the team and every teammate.

      In keeping with the hard working ethos of Matip, he is just going to keep doing his job for the next few seasons and the end result will look after themselves.

      “You never know how it will end, you just have to work hard and do the best you can do. Then we will see.”




       
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    • I see they have another clock - directly above his head. And next but one to the left (as you look at it) is a model of the troglodyte from Sinbad & The Eye Of The Tiger. A curious collection in full.        
    • The Jules rimet trophy, obviously
    • Can is on near 200 grand a week as Barry said
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