Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has called the signing of Joel Matip one of the best pieces of business the Reds have done in the last few years.
Matip signed for the Anfield side back in June 2016, after his contract had expired at German side Schalke 04. The Cameroon centre-back took his time to adjust, but has since gone on to become a fan favourite and a vital member of the team.
The 28-year-old's contract was due to expire next summer, however the Reds have triggered their option to automatically extend his contract by a further year - and there is belief that a new deal is not too far away, as a result of his fine form.
Ahead of Liverpool's trip to Sheffield United on Saturday, Klopp was keen to discuss the excellence of Matip. Speaking in a press conference (as quoted by Goal), he revealed: “Joel was always an incredible talent. He played as an 18-year-old boy for Schalke in the Bundesliga. It’s a strong league and he played there and was always a standout player, a fixed point in defence.
“Yes he lacked a little bit of consistency, that can happen especially with his physical stature. He doesn’t always look sensational when he moves, but he grew and developed."
The German was keen to reiterate the fact that the player joined on a free transfer, adding: “In a world of big transfer fees, to sign a player like Joel Matip on a free transfer is incredible. It was maybe one of the best pieces of business we did in the last few years.”
The Liverpool manager finished: "Joel is in a really good moment, long, long may it continue.”
The defender has featured in five of the Reds' six Premier League games so far this season and has contributed one goal as he looks to keep his place in the side ahead of Joe Gomez.