Premier League legend Alan Shearer has slammed Liverpool defender Joel Matip for his performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday.
Analysing the game on Match of the Day, the former Newcastle United hero was critical of the 31-year-old, who he claimed was largely responsible for the Reds’ poor defensive display.
“You have time to pick your pass, no pressure on the ball, it’s too easy,” said Shearer. “Gomez is out of position.
“Look at Matip, you have time to pick your pass and put it in behind. Matip stops. I mean, he is on his way over there to close them and he stops. I don’t know what he’s doing. He had a nightmare.
“Then, all of a sᴜᴅᴅᴇɴ (Wolves goal the first goal) and it’s a little bit unlucky with that (the own goal). But again, one simple pass out. They have gone past the three midfielders. You are in the back four, into the final third, causing them problems.
“Matip, again. Not acceptable. Not good enough,” added Shearer. “That should be in the back of the net (Nunes’ chance).”
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Shearer says Matip isn’t good enough
If this was said last season, these comments would be completely unwarranted.
In the Premier League last term, Matip finished the league campaign as Liverpool’s fourth-best player, having averaged an impressive 7.35 match rating across the year.
However, this season, things couldn’t be more different.
Thus far, the centre-back is ranked as 24th in the Reds’ rankings, with an average score of 6.52 per game.
The defender looks very weak at the back, and he often struggles to compete with more physical strikers.
At the moment, there always seems to be a mistake in him. This is certainly exacerbated by Virgil van Dijk’s absence, as Matip certainly performs better with a leader beside him.
Therefore, with less than 18 months left on his deal, Liverpool may look to bring in a replacement in the summer – and it may be time for Jurgen Klopp to take him out of the firing line.
Liverpool compete with the two big bosses to pick $54m transfer compared to Mbapp to Anfield
A forward who compared himself to Kylian Mbappé is apparently being looked at by Liverpool and a lot of other teams. His $54 million release clause should be taken into account by FSG.
It may sound bizarre to say that Liverpool has to look for another forward in the summer after signing Cody Gakpo rather than a midfielder in January, but that may end up being the case.
Liverpool will need to replace Roberto Firmino’s physical presence in аttack if he leaves Anfield on a free transfer, but they don’t necessarily have to do it on a like-for-like basis, particularly if Gakpo is being developed as the next player who can fill a role akin to a “false nine.”
If there is one place in the park where Liverpool is weaker than elsewhere, it is on the right side of their аssault.
In contrast to the left, where Luis Daz and Diogo Jota may both contend for the starting XI spot when healthy, Mohamed Salah is the clear first choice in the position. However, on the right, Salah faces little competition.
Even though Salah is contracted to the club through 2025, Julian Ward (and any future sports directors) must have Salah’s succession in mind given that the Egyptian turned 30 last year. A youngster who is roughly 10 years younger than the Liverpool right winger could be a potential successor to Salah, who Liverpool will eventually need to locate.
The brother of Iaki Williams, who was formerly on the Reds’ radar, Nico Williams is being closely watched by Liverpool, according to a report from the Spanish daily AS from the summer. Juventus, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, and Liverpool were all interested, according to the Italian publication Calciomercato in November.
And now, AS (translated by Sport Witness) claims that Williams is being watched by both Liverpool and Aston Villa due to his contract’s $54 million (£45 million/€50 million) release clause.
The 20-year-old Athletic Bilbao player recently made his national team debut for Spain, but he had previously played in the World Cup and had been performing admirably for his club team.
When he was selected for the Qatari team, Fichajes stated that Real Madrid, Liverpool, and Manchester United are all interested in signing him.
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Williams has contributed to six goals and six assists across all competitions this season, averaging one goal every 197 league minutes. That is already a far better performance than Williams’ breakout campaign from the previous year, when he only contributed to four goals over 40 appearances.
To be fair to him, he only started 14 of those games; otherwise, the adolescent often came off the bench. Williams already appears to have adjusted to senior football, and if he keeps up his current pace, he should unquestionably be on Liverpool’s radar—not just as a Salah backup option, but also as the Egyptian’s eventual successor.
Williams embodies the kind of play that Jürgen Klopp favors. He has amazing speed, is explosive, and excels in one-on-one combat. He has thus far this season demonstrated his ability to contribute in the last third.
$54 million may seem like a steep sum for Liverpool to pay for a player with little experience.
However, in this day and age, taking into account Williams’ potential and the fаct that he may play a part at Anfield for over ten years, it is probably worthwhile to take into account.
Williams also made the comparison between himself and Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, which seems to be a very appropriate description given his recent play. His high parallels are not unique; others have already made them, and they seem to be at least somewhat correct in terms of style, if not in terms of potential.