Joel Matip's strong start to life at Anfield has seen him earn plenty of praise from supporters, and the Liverpool defender now also has the backing of a club legend – Sami Hyypia.

Having missed the defeats to Burnley and Bournemouth through injury, Matip has never been on the losing side in his 14 appearances for the Reds since making a summer move from Schalke.

The 25-year-old’s defensive capabilities and calmness in possession have been evident in the early stages of his Premier League career, and he has quickly emerged as a key man at the back for Jürgen Klopp.

And Hyypia, a man who knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a successful centre-back for Liverpool, has been impressed by Matip’s contributions this term.

LFCTV GO: Hyypia's verdict on Reds defender Matip

“I knew him from Germany, I think I played against him and then managed Leverkusen when he was at Schalke,” he told

“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.”

Matip’s stature and quality have seen comparisons drawn with Champions League winner Hyypia by fans and pundits alike.

But the Finn has seen one big difference between them, and joked: “If you want to see similarities, I think there are some – but I think he’s a bit quicker than me!”