Phil Thompson has been impressed with how quickly Joel Matip has settled in to life at Liverpool and has praised him for bringing out the best in fellow centre-back Dejan Lovren.
Matip joined the Reds on a free transfer from Schalke in the summer and Jurgen Klopp’s side haven’t lost a single match when the Cameroonian has been on the pitch.
The Reds head into Monday night’s clash with Everton hoping to leap back up to second in the table and close the gap on Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Matip faces a late fitness test ahead of the Merseyside derby and Thompson has hailed Liverpool’s defensive unit this season.
Derby day! Let's do this!
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 19, 2016
“Matip has had a fantastic first season. I’ve been very impressed,” Thompson said. “I thought it would have taken him a little bit of time to settle, but he has been absolutely terrific.
“People have often complained that the back four of Liverpool is where it has been weak, but their defence has been quite excellent.
“[Nathaniel] Clyne has been good, Lovren has had a really good season, [James] Milner is always terrific and Matip has just slotted in.
“He has helped Lovren get better. Getting used to the different goalkeepers has been a difficult part, but as a unit they have been great – and that is mainly down to Matip, apart from the game against West Ham.”