Why Liverpool star Joel Matip would be a great short-term solution for Barcelona
According to Dario Sport (h/t ESPN), Joel Matip is being considered by Barcelona as a temporary solution to their defensive problems. The Catalans were after Eric Garcia through the summer but no deal could be worked out. Matip has popped up as one of the names who are seen as low cost alternatives by the club.
Matip, 28, rose through the ranks of Schalke’s youth system and made over 250 appearances for the German outfit before joining the Reds in the summer of 2016. He immediately established himself in the starting XI and played a key role in Liverpool’s Champions League win last season. However, he struggled with injuries and was on the sidelines for the majority of the 2019/20 season.
Matip would be a great short term solution for Barcelona
Barcelona’s defensive problems are nothing new as the club has struggled to win the Champions League in the last 5 seasons. They ended last season trophyless as La Liga went to their eternal rivals, Real Madrid and they were mercilessly ripped apart by Bayern Munich in the continental competition.
It is clear that the current defensive crop of players is not good enough and another central defender is needed very soon. Gerard Pique is a shadow of his former self while Clement Lenglet makes you doubt how he is playing at a club like Barcelona. Lastly, there is Samuel Umtiti who finds himself on the treatment table more than the pitch.
While the club has stabilized a bit this season with the introduction of Ronald Araujo, they need an experienced option at the back. Joel Matip can be one of those options as he comes with buckets of experience in the Premier League and Bundesliga. The Cameroonian has been a mainstay of the Liverpool backline for years now.
It would surely be hard to prise away Matip from Liverpool, given the defensive crisis they are having right now. But he is one of the safest bets Barca can take in the current situation. One thing that can work for Barca to lure him is that Liverpool are likely to sign a centre-back in January.
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When Van Dijk and Gomez ultimately return, Matip will be relegated to the bench. At Barcelona, he is very likely to get a lot of starts and at 29, he needs that. Matip may not be the ideal defensive choice for the Catalan club but he is one that can help them shore up their leaky backline.