New Liverpool defender Joel Matip says he needs to improve his strength and conditioning in order to succeed in the Premier League following his move from the Bundesliga, he told the club’s official website.
The versatile 24-year-old opted to move to the Reds on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract at former club Schalke.
Matip was highly-rated back in Germany in was a regular first-team star for Schalke last season, starting all 34 Bundesliga matches and averaging an impressive 3.1 interceptions and 5.4 clearances per match.
That said, the Cameroon international is aware of the challenges ahead and he told the club’s official website how he will look to improve on his strength in order to compete with the rigorous Premier League campaign.
“I am ready but I have work to do on my body. This is another league, so I will have to work on my body to play here and to be physically strong for the Premier League,” Matip explained.
"I decided to do it myself, but I think the coaching staff and manager will help me reach this level and to be fit for the season.”
Matip’s arrival on Merseyside is a real coup for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp as the animated German coach looks to strengthen his defensive ranks ahead of the new campaign.
The Reds conceded far too many sloppy goals last season, and towards the end of the campaign there appeared to be a distinct lack of centre-back options available to choose from.
With Martin Skrtel out of favour, Kolo Toure released and Mamadou Sakho suspended, signing a new central defender was a priority for the club and in Matip they’ve landed a superb player for a minimal cost.