Liverpool’s £85k-a-week defender had a nightmare against Napoli and has been criticised for being ‘nowhere near the form’ required to play at the current time.
The Reds fell to a miserable 4-1 loss in Napoli, with only a handful of players able to come out of that game with their heads held, somewhat, high.
Joe Gomez was highly criticised for his performance at centre-back as he was easily beaten and exposed with their highline on a number of occasions.
Former Premier League striker Leroy Rosenior has made the claim that Liverpool need Joel Matip to return to bring back that calmness to the side.
Rosenior ‘s comments on Gomez
Former West Ham striker Rosenior believes the Reds benefit from having Matip at the back because of his ‘experience’, as he told Sky Sports News. Matip did come to replace the defender at halftime and will most likely start from now on if fully fit.
Matip is more experienced and he gives himself an extra yard,” said Rosenior. “Gomez just wanted to fight everybody and he just got outmuscled by Osimhen.
“But because Matip is that more experienced, he doesn’t want to get into too many fights and Trent just looks more secure when Matip is on the pitch as well.
I feel for Joe Gomez because he was an outstanding prospect and he has had some injuries. And, at the moment, he is nowhere near the form. Matip is the better option.”
There seemed to be a real disconnect between Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold in the first half which resulted in the goal being conceded.
The second and, more specifically, the third goal were particularly damning for both of those players, with both of them getting beat far too easily.
Looking at the second half when Matip came on, the xG shifted massively from the first half which read Napoli 4.07 – 0.92 Liverpool. The full-time stats read Napoli (4.59) 4-1 (1.17) Liverpool which shows the second half was Napoli (0.52) vs Liverpool’s (0.25).
At least there was an improvement for the Reds but the damage had clearly already been done. If Matip can start then he can help bring a sense of calmness and familiarity to that back four, but he is not a quick fix solution by any means.