Joel Matip is deservedly receiving credit for his performance in Liverpool’s draw against Southampton, according to Neil Mellor.
The centre-back joined the Merseyside giants this summer, having penned a pre-contract agreement in February.
After missing the first two games of the season through injury, Matip has cemented his place in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI, displacing the likes of Mamadou Sakho and Ragnar Klavan.
The 25-year-old has averaged more defensive actions per league game (eight) than any teammate this term, and is yet to commit an error.
Last weekend, he helped Liverpool keep only their second clean sheet of the league campaign, winning an excellent 8/10 aerial duels at St. Mary’s.
Though the Reds were ultimately disappointed not to win the game, Mellor has heaped praise on the side for their defensive display, picking out both Matip and midfielder Jordan Henderson.
The ex-striker wrote for the Liverpool Echo: “Defensively we were absolutely outstanding to limit Southampton to so few chances. They didn’t have a great deal of attacking intent to get at us but that’s credit to us.
“Matip took a lot of credit for the way he performed and rightly so. He looks a really classy act with his pace, his distribution, very comfortable in possession, reading the game well.
“But as a team – Jordan Henderson in front, midfielders getting back and supporting – we nullified any kind of threat Southampton had.”
Liverpool face Sunderland in their next Premier League fixture, as they host the relegation-threatened side on Saturday.