What could Joel Matip's arrival mean for Liverpool's Martin Skrtel and Tiago Ilori?

Liverpool Scarves

The Schalke defender is heading to Anfield this summer.

Following the news that Liverpool will complete the signing of Cameroon international Joel Matip on a free transfer this summer, it is clear Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is wasting little time strengthening areas of weakness ahead of the next campaign.

But what could Matip’s imminent arrival mean for Liverpool’s current centre-backs?

After all, the Schalke defender has not been signed to sit on the bench and with 243 first-team appearances under his belt, and a very impressive 23 goals in that time, he will be one of the first names on Klopp’s team-sheet if he settles quickly at Anfield.

Of the defenders currently at the club, Kolo Toure is surely on his way, while Dejan Lovren has shown glimpses of an upturn in form this season.

The Croatian international was much-maligned after his move from Southampton and he looked like an accident waiting to happen. But if he can continue his impressive turnaround next season there will be plenty of chances for him.

That is despite the fact that Mamadou Sakho is likely to partner Matip when both are fit and available. However the sheer number of competitions Liverpool could be competing in will give everyone a chance.

Of all Liverpool’s senior centre-backs, Martin Skrtel could be the one with the most to worry about.

The Slovakian international does not look comfortable when swapping between the two centre-back positions and that rigidity could see his chances limited going forward.

Then there is Tiago Ilori, a player who could be set for another loan move given the increased competition for places; although Klopp has previously suggested that he will keep his younger players at the club to develop together in the future.

Whatever happens, it is clear that Matip’s signing is a step in the right direction…

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