Sami Hyypia has joked that the main difference between himself and Joel Matip is that the Liverpool defender is “a bit quicker”.
Matip has established himself almost instantly at Liverpool since joining from Schalke as a free agent in the summer.
The Cameroonian is an integral member of a defence which is otherwise struggling under Jurgen Klopp.
The club have conceded nine goals in the three Premier League games he has missed this season, and just 11 in the 12 he has started.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, former defender Hyypia, who won the 2005 Champions League among his ten trophies over a decade at Anfield, has poured praise on the 25-year-old.
“I knew him from Germany, I think I played against him and then managed Leverkusen when he was at Schalke,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“He’s a good player. He’s a big guy, dominant player, very comfortable on the ball and that’s a big piece of how the team plays.
“When you want to play football, you need to have somebody who is comfortable on the ball and on the other hand a strong defender.
“His style of play is that he is comfortable on the ball but I think that comes from confidence, he is very confident that he can play football.
“If you want to see similarities, I think there are some – but I think he’s a bit quicker than me!”