Jürgen Klopp "very happy" with Liverpool's Joel Matip signing

Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp praised Joel Matip, who will join the Reds in the summer after his contract at Schalke expires, insisting that the 6ft 4ins defender will bring physicality, goals and more to the team.

Jürgen Klopp "very happy" with Liverpool's Joel Matip signing
(Picture: Getty Images)

Jürgen Klopp declared himself "very happy" with the capture of Joel Matip and believes that the defender will take no time at all to adjust to life in the Premier League.

Liverpool announced that they had reached a pre-contract agreement with the current Schalke centre-back to see him join the club on a free transfer in the summer on Monday.

The 24-year-old has racked up well over 200 senior appearances for the Bundesliga club, as well as featuring at both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups for Cameroon and will arrive on Merseyside with experience in abundance. 

Klopp, who has had previous experience of Matip as the manager of Schalke's fierce rivals of Borussia Dortmund, insisted that the defender was always on his radar even before he became the boss at Anfield in October.

Matip a long-term prospect for Liverpool, says Klopp

"He's a real centre-half," the German told Liverpoolfc.com as he explained that Matip is "physically strong" and "a really tall boy" joking that he's even taller than himself and that it "doesn't happen too often that I have to [look up at someone]."

Klopp also described him as "quick" and "flexible in his movements", hailing him as being "good in technical things" because he has "played in different systems, with four or three defenders" and added that he "scores goals" and "four or five per season minimum."

Matip battles with Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller. (Picture: Getty Images)
Matip battles with Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller. (Picture: Getty Images)

He added that the Cameroon international, who has been an ever-present in his side's back-line so far this season, is "good in the one-on-one and quick" and said that the defender comes as "a package."

The Reds boss acknowledged that there may be a period in which Matip "has to learn" but said "that's normal" and said he "has learned a lot in the last few years and made big steps in his development."

Klopp said that it was "a chance" for Liverpool and vowed that "you can't always make transfers only to solve a problem" even though he accepted that "people are saying our defence isn't that good."

In response, he acknowledged that they "have to defend better as a team" but said Matip's arrival is "not for solving a problem" but more a "long-term" signing with "a really good perspective for the future", despite insisting he "can help immediately" which he called "really good." 

Klopp looking forward to working with "top-class" Matip

Matip is just Klopp's third signing as Liverpool boss, following Marko Grujić, who immediately returned to Red Star Belgrade on loan after a £5.1 million move, and on-loan centre-back Steven Caulker.

And the manager insisted that he's "very happy" to have sealed his signature because "everybody who knows him would have been interested" although he's "maybe not the most famous player in England."

Klopp hailed Matip as a "top-class centre-half" and added that he's experienced even though he's "very young" and said you "don't have that too often." He even admitted that during his sabbatical, he thought for his next club, he should "think about Joel, if there was a need." 

He said that maybe the fact he played for Dortmund's "biggest opponent" says "a lot about his quality" in that even as Dortmund manager, he could "see his quality" and explained his ability as "real quality."

Matip is Klopp's second permanent signing, after Marko Grujić. (Picture: Getty Images)
Matip is Klopp's second permanent signing, after Marko Grujić. (Picture: Getty Images)

"The chance was there and Joel wanted to do something different," added Klopp, who continued that he remains "really close" to Schalke having "played there since he was a youth player" and therefore meant "there was no chance for [Matip to go to] another Bundesliga club" and therefore Liverpool "was the right name and the right club."

The 48-year-old said that it might be "a little advantage" that he and Matip know each other, saying that he's "still a young player" and "for a young player, it could help to make the decision when there's a manager from your home country."

Klopp called it "a good situation" and said it will "hopefully" be "a win-win" situation for the club and the player, insisting that it "looks like this" at the moment but said he "has to stay healthy and after the summer break, we can start working together."