Joel Matip has praised fellow centre-back Virgil van Dijk as the “complete defender” who helps improve those around him.
Van Dijk has been a revelation at Liverpool since his arrival last year, helping firm-up the Reds defence as Jurgen Klopp’s side push for the Premier League title.
And Matip, who has enjoyed a run of matches alongside the Dutchman of late, has seen first-hand just how good he really is.
“He’s a great defender,” Matip said.
“And being around him, I think everybody improves. He has had a big impact on the improvement. It’s great to play [with] him. He’s a complete defender and he knows what to do.
“Every defender does things a little bit differently. You always need some time to really know each other. This is normal. I think we need this time in a good way and this is working most of the time quite well.”
Of the injury that sidelined him earlier in the season, Matip added: “It’s not too bad; I always know that I have to improve but it’s a good feeling to be on the pitch and to play.
“If you win it’s also not too bad. I’m happy. But you know you have always to improve, to get better, to be part of the team.”