March 22, 2023

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Gomez and Matip are a disaster. Liverpool need a new centre-back

This season, Liverpool bear little resemblance to last year’s model: the reigning vice-champion of the Premier League managed to lose 33 points in 24 rounds, despite the fact that the Reds lost only 22 last season. The team often looks confused and crushed, and the individual mistakes of the players, who were included in the lists of the best players in the league last season in their positions are frankly scary.

Who to sell, who to keep, and, most importantly, who to buy, is sorted out by the Six Elche Telegram channel , one of whose authors sincerely believed that Joe Gomez would one day fight for the Golden Ball.

Last summer, the demands of fans for transfers (albeit not realized) were very, very simple.“We want a midfielder!” – repeated almost every fan of the Reds. But the position of the central defender did not exactly cause cause for concern. 26 conceded in 38 rounds of last season in the Premier League? Or 14 conceded in 13 Champions League games (but there were an optional 3 conceded by Benfica at Anfield, for example)? Which of these numbers would make the Reds fans worry about the defensive line?

Rather, the fans were more worried about who would be Virgil van Dijk’s main partner – the more familiar to the Premier League Joel Matip or the incredible Champions League final Ibu Konate. It’s funny how seriously the situation in this line has changed after only 6 months after the closing of the summer MOT.

Yes, buying a new midfielder (or rather midfielders) next summer will be Liverpool’s number one priority, but not acquiring a new centre-back would be a crime against common sense. In the summer, Liverpool will have to remember that they are a top club, and putting the lyrics aside, also go for a new central defender. According to tradition, to begin with, after conducting an audit of what the club has .

To be honest, the club does not have many options.

There’s Van Dyke , whose inspiring performance with the Wolves gives hope that we’ll see at least something close to the old Verge at the end of this season and beyond. Commenting and discussing something about one of the best defenders in the world is probably wrong and hardly necessary. Yes, a serious injury hit his level in general; yes, he stopped being so dominant over the rest of the defenders. But this decline is only against the backdrop of the former van Dyk – a player of the level of the Golden Ball. He remains our main asset in defense, he just now needs rest from time to time, which he himself openly talks about. The more important is the purchase of a new protector.

There is Ibrahima Konate , who, however, has played only 6 matches in the Premier League this season, playing 90 minutes in five of them. The problem lies in the availability of Ibu:this season in the Premier League games, the Frenchman appears no more often than prime Keithwhen he surprised everyone in the infirmary with his ability to get injured in the Guinean gardens. It is still young and will definitely be considered as a long-term option in the base, but 910 minutes by March is not serious. For a second, that’s 10 full matches out of 36 that Liverpool have played this season. Yes, he stayed on the bench several times, but this was more often due to his lack of form after injuries than to his playing qualities.

The place in the team of these two defenders is hardly discussed: they will definitely remain at the club if they do not make an offer of 500 million for either of them (Bowley, paws off).

Who does not take playing time this season is Joe Gomez . 1943 minutes in all competitions by March put this season of the Englishman in the amount of time spent on the field ahead of the seasons 21/22, 20/21, 18/19, 16/17 and 15/16, that is, this is his third record for all time at the club . And given the trauma and form of other centre-defs, Joe has every chance to bypass the 17/18 season as well. So, in terms of playing time, this could be his best season since the 19/20 championship season, when he worked wonders with Van Dyke. Yes, we used to go through December-January like this!

In general, our Boosty subscriber (by the way, subscribe to Boosty and Patreon, where you can suggest your topics for materials) asked for a separate text about Joe – it is already in the works, so we will not expand on this painful topic here.

In early February, Neil Jones, one of Liverpool’s club journalists, rolled out a whole “shooting” list of players who would have to leave the team in the summer. It was a surprise for me to see Joel Matip there . Since then, the Cameroonian has issued a whole month full of evidence in favor of such a decision.

For 6.5 years at the club, Matip has accumulated 15 injuries, managing, however, despite this to be one of the main actors of this era of Liverpool. Fans will definitely remember his assist on Origi, his trademark passes and much more, which you can write about in the comments.

Last season, he had the honor of being van Dijk’s main teammate in the Premier League, playing 31 90-minute games in the league, staying on the bench only four times and off the list three more times. And 43 matches in all competitions and did become his best result in the number of games in a season since moving to Liverpool. The ending turned out to be the most shocking for the “giraffe”, as the fans lovingly call him: in each of the last three games with Villa, Southampton and Wolves, he made out a scoring action (2 + 1). It looked like that even if he loses his reinforced concrete place at the base in the Premier League, losing it to the younger Konata, he will always be ready to go out on a safety net.