6 Dec 2016

Disaster for Klopp? 'Brilliant' £100k-a-week Liverpool star could miss 7 games (including Man Utd) due to the AFCON

Bad news for Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool could lose the club's most effective defender for much of January.

Joel Matip is the lynchpin of the Reds' much improved defence, but if Cameroon boss Hugo Bross gets his way, Matip wil join Sadio Mane at the African Cup of Nations [AFCON].

Speaking to Voetbal Magazine, Bross noted:

“When I took over as coach I asked him [Matip] to return, but he said to me he was not convinced. I’ve heard that he is now prepared to make a comeback and so I am going to go and see him again.”

If 'brilliant' Matip is 'prepared to make a comeback', then that obviously means he's open to persuasion, and the upcoming AFCON is the obvious place to make a return. Assuming (as is customary) he heads to the tournament a week early, Matip (and Mane) will potentially miss the following games:

* Jan 7th: Middlesbrough (FA CUP)

* Jan 11th: Southampton (EFL)

* Jan 14th: Manchester United

* Jan 21st: Swansea City

* Jan 25th: Southampton (LEAGUE CUP)

* Feb 1st: Chelsea

* Feb 4th: Hull City

Of course, Cameroon may go out in the Group stage, which will see Matip return early, but even so, he'll probably need a rest after travelling thousands of miles and playing three high-intensity games in a short space of time.

If Matip deigns to grace Cameroon with his presence, what should Liverpool's first-choice center-back pairing in his absence?

* Matip: Reportedly on £100k-a-week


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