Joel Matip becomes Jürgen Klopp’s first signing as Liverpool boss moving from Schalke. Matip is to become a Liverpool player when his contract expires in the summer.
Andre Breitenreiter and Schalke tried tirelessly to keep the Cameroon international at the VELTINS-Arena with two contract offers but the 24-year-old decided his time in Germany was up and a move to Liverpool was the right call.
In an interview with Schalke04.de, Joel Matip spoke of his love of the club where he spent 16 years playing. He made his Bundesliga debut in 2009 aged just 18 in Schalke’s 1-1 draw with FC Bayern Munich under Felix Magath.
Schalke 04 will always be like my family. I have always been very proud to play for this fantastic club.
The 6 ft 4 central defender has featured in every one of Schalke’s Bundesliga games this season. He was in the team that suffered a 2-1 defeat to the hands of FSV Mainz.
Matip made his first appearance for Schalke in 2000, where he was just nine. He made his way up the Royal Blues impressive youth academy which have produced the likes of Mesut Özil and Julian Draxler.
Unlike teammates before him, Julian Draxler and Manuel Neuer, Matip will not be leaving to join a fellow Bundesliga club and this is a reason behind his move, he admitted speaking to Schalke04.de.
I have always said that there is only one reason I would leave Schalke – to experience something completely new. For that reason, I never considered a move to another Bundesliga club. Even though the decision wasn’t easy, I am certain that this is the right moment for me to take the next step in my career
Matip will play his final game in front of the Royal Blue’s fans against Liverpool’s Europa League opponents FC Augsburg on May 7th.
Schalke’s Managing Director Horst Heldt spoke of the extensive discussions the two parties underwent but the German club’s negotiations were in vain.
We have held extensive discussions with both the player and his agent since May. It became clear very quickly that certain decisive factors meant we would not be able to influence his decision,
He gracefully concluded his statement adamantly. The defender confirmed that the move will not mean his performance levels decrease, Matip announced that he will do all in his power to help Schalke get back into the Champions League. A competition which they painfully missed out on.
I will give my all in the coming months to ensure that we get the most we can out of this season. I owe that to both the fans and my team.