The 2016 summer transfer window will be the first one that Jurgen Klopp will be presiding over at Liverpool, and he has made his first signing already. The best part for Liverpool is that it isn’t going to cost them a penny.
Cameroon international Joel Matip, and his current club Schalke 04, have confirmed that he will be leaving the club for Liverpool in the summer on a free transfer.
— FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en) February 15, 2016
An inevitable move
The defender has long been linked with a move to Liverpool, with it being more a question of when than if he will move. The Schalke 04 manager Horst Heldt admitted that they had tried to talk the 24-year-old into signing a new contract, but to no avail.
“We have had many intensive discussions, with both Joel and his advisor, since May last year. It was soon clear that we ultimately could not influence the factors that would be decisive for Joel’s decision.”, he said, according to the official Schalke 04 website.
The player himself is optimistic about the move and feels that it is the right decision to take at this stage of his career.
“I have always said that I would leave Schalke for only one reason: to discover something new. Therefore, I never considered a change within the Bundesliga. Although my decision is definitely not easy, I am convinced that now the time is right to take this step,” said Matip.
“Schalke 04 will remain a big family for me. I was always proud to play for this great club”
Restructuring the defence
Joel Matip is a product of the Schalke academy and has spent 15 years at the club. Other illustrious Schalke academy graduates include Manuel Neuer and Mesut Ozil, and Matip will be hoping to emulate the success of the latter in the Premier League when he joins Liverpool.
The centre-back will provide some much needed cover at the back, with the Reds currently playing with only two fit centre-backs in Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho. While new signings like Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez have not impressed much at Anfield yet, there are constant questions surrounding the ability of their veteran defender Martin Skrtel. This provides an excellent opportunity for the young defender to make a name for himself.