Joel Matip
Matip made his first appearance for Liverpool on Sunday. Getty


  • Matip limped off during the 2-0 friendly win over Wigan.
  • Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez likely to miss the start of the season.
  • Dejan Lovren and Andre Wisdom only fit centre-halves.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has played down the injury Joel Matip suffered in the friendly victory over Wigan Atletic on Sunday (17 July). Matip, a free transfer from Schalke, made his first appearance for his new club at centre-half alongside Dejan Lovren. The Cameroon international was set to play the full 90 minutes at the DW Stadium, but limped off with a foot injury.

Liverpool face a selection headache at centre-half ahead of the start of the new season, with Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez both looking likely to miss the start of the campaign. But Klopp has moved to calm fears Matip has joined them on the injury list.

"I hope it is only a minor problem. It is not too serious, hopefully. It is the foot he had problems with in the past ad then he had a little bit of pain and when pre-season started because of the intensity," Klopp said.

"He said he's had it one or two times already. He's used to it. I think Monday he'll rest, then he can go again.

"We had to make the decision of Joel or Dejan, who has to play the whole 90 minutes? We decided on Joel. For him it was a little bit too much today, but he is in a good way, as you can see."

Both Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel have left Anfield this summer, leaving Lovren and Andre Wisdom, who spent last season on loan at Norwich City, as Klopp's only fit senior centre halves. Sakho and Gomez are unavailable with Achilles injuries, while Tiago Ilori, recalled from a loan spell by Klopp last January, scheduled to join up with the Portugal squad ahead of their Rio 2016 campaign.

With his options dwindling, Klopp is now keen to bring in more cover. According to BBC Sport, the club are on the brink of signing Albania international Ragner Klavan from FC Augsburg in a deal worth £4.2m ($5.5m).