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24 Jan 2017

Aldo: 'Brilliant' €22m Liverpool star must 'start against Southampton' and Klopp must drop 'poor' defender. Agree?

Liverpool legend John Aldridge has urged Jurgen Klopp to start one the club's recently sidelined players in tomorrow's EFL clash with Southampton.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo this week, Aldo bemoaned Dejan Lovren's 'really poor' defending at Swansea and insisted:

“Joel Matip has to start against Southampton. We needed his height against Swansea. He's a big player, and in every game we've lost, he's been missing from the starting XI. That's no coincidence".

This is probably a no-brainer for Klopp, who has talked up Matip's 'brilliant' defensive qualities many times. Plus, Klopp gave Matip a run out for the U23s on Sunday, which suggests he's desperate him to quickly build match fitness.

When asked on Monday about Matip's imminent return to action, Klopp told reporters:

"It's good [that he's back] because he's a really good player, but he was injured for 6 weeks. The other players had to play all the time, and that's more the problem, not that Joel cannot play all the time".

As is usually the case, whenever a player is out injured, and the team has a bad run, it's always because said player was missing. Typical football fan logic. Now, Matip is being built up as some kind of saviour who'll suddenly solve Liverpool's defensive woes, but the reality is that the Reds were making stupid defensive mistakes *with* Matip in the team. Of course, some fans will refuse to accept this, but it's a fact, and the proof is in the pudding:

* 2015-16: After 22 league games, Liverpool had conceded 28 goals.

* 2016-17: After 22 league games, Liverpool have conceded 27 goals.

That's practically zero defensive improvement, even with Matip in the team for much of the campaign. The major difference is that this season - just as in 2013-14 - Liverpool are scoring a hell of a lot more goals (51 so far, which is double the number at the same point last season), and that is papering over the cracks of the club's ongoing defensive frailty.

^ Matip: €22m-rated (CIES Football Observatory). Hailed by Sami Hyypia as 'dominant' in the air



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