Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has praised Liverpool defender Joel Matip following his crucial late winning goal versus Ajax.
The 31-year-old returned to the starting lineup on Tuesday evening following a few weeks out with a groin injury, and he was in the right place at the right time to head in Kostas Tsimikas’s corner just minutes before fulltime. Henry claims Matip deserves more recognition for the performances he has put in over the years for the Reds:
“I am happy for Matip. This is a guy where people will not talk a lot when mentioning Liverpool. You are going to mention Van Dijk, Salah, Mane back in the days or Firmino. But Joel always comes and does the job. He often scores important goals actually. Headers. Unlucky in some situations, but when he scores, they are good and important.”
As manager Jurgen Klopp has said himself, Matip has to be one of the best free transfer signings of all time. While he has had his problems with injuries, he’s been a pivotal figure in Liverpool’s success over recent years.
Ironically, it’s probably the fact that he was brought in for no transfer fee which allowed him to go under the radar. If he had been signed for £75m like his centre-back partner Virgil van Dijk, the spotlight would have been focused on his displays more often. As it is, though, he has still been an excellent servant during his six years at Anfield.