Although it’s unclear whether or not he’ll be on hand when Liverpool square up with Championship side Huddersfield Town on Wednesday, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp can breathe a sigh of relief after scans on Joel Matip’s ankle revealed only bruising to allay any fears of serious damage.
Limping off in closing stages of their 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium, the 24-year old, who has impressed since joining up from Schalke 04 on a free transfer, left his new side to see out the match with only ten men. While they were easily able to navigate their way to the final whistle, the real concern was that the Cameroonian would be sidelined for an extended period of time — something that the Reds can ill afford.
Having let Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure leave the club earlier in the month, Klopp was already short of defensive cover and injuries to Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez only compounded that problem further. With Tiago Ilori set to join Portugal at the Olympics, the club had only two fit senior center-backs on the books and that number was reduced to one when Matip limped off. The club is on course to sign Ragnar Klavan from FC Augsburg as cover in the meantime with the big Estonian expected to join the ranks later in the week. Although Matip might not be ready to go against Huddersfield later this week, he should be ready to go by the time Liverpool face both Chelsea and AC Milan in the span of a few days during their tour of the United States.
“You don’t need to talk about that [what it means to play for Liverpool], they know which club they came to and they know what people expect from them,” said Reds defender Dejan Lovren saying how impressed he’s been with Matip and the other new boys.”Every change is difficult in the beginning,” he continued, warning that the pressure will be there from the get go to perform. “I will help them make it easier, like people helped me when I came. It’s normal – it’s a process of helping each other.”