BBC pundit Garth Crooks urges Liverpool to build defence around Joel Matip

Joel Matip of Liverpool FC in action during the Audi Cup 2017 match between Liverpool FC v Atletico Madrid at Allianz Arena on August 2, 2017 in Munich, Germany.

Pundit praises Joel Matip for performance against Burnley.

Joel Matip of Liverpool FC in action during the Audi Cup 2017 match between Liverpool FC v Atletico Madrid at Allianz Arena on August 2, 2017 in Munich, Germany.

Liverpool were held to a draw with Burnley at the weekend but had it not been for Joel Matip it could have been a defeat.

The Cameroon international cleared an effort off the line, preventing a certain goal.

His performance prompted pundit Garth Crooks to select him in his 'Team of the Week' for BBC Sport.

m Liverpool's German-born Cameroonian defender Joel Matip wins a header from Burnley's New Zealand striker Chris Wood during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and...

Crooks lauded Matip's contribution, and urged the Reds to start building their defence around the 26-year-old centre-back.

He said: "Liverpool fans can continue to argue all they want about their goals-against record at Anfield but that is totally misleading. I will say this: Matip is an honest competitor capable of producing excellent performances on his day.

"But for goodness sake, he needs a defence around him."

Chris Wood of Burnley and Joel Matip of Liverpool battle for possession during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Burnley at Anfield on September 16, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

Crooks added that he felt Liverpool were 'desperately lucky' to avoid defeat.

Liverpool sit in eighth position with eight points from five games.

The Reds were coming off a heavy defeat to Manchester City, and a loss against Burnley would have been a major blow.

The defence is certainly their weak point, but as Crooks points out, Matip may not be the problem. If Liverpool can add some better players around him then it will be easier to get a proper gauge on his talent.

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