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Joel Matip relishing competition for starting spot

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Joel Matip says that he isn’t taking his current status at Liverpool for granted with Joe Gomez back to full fitness this summer.

Joel Matip became Virgil van Dijk’s partner in defense last season when Joe Gomez broke his leg in a Premier League game against Burnley.

The former Schalke man went on to form a great partnership with the Dutchman as Liverpool lifted the Champions League and came really close to lifting the Premier League title.

However, now that Joe Gomez is back, Joel Matip knows that it is not going to be easy for him to easily push for a starting spot.

While speaking to The Standard, he said that last season is only a memory and that everyone has to start all over again.

“It was nice to play and have the success, but a new season begins,” he said.

“You start new and last season doesn’t matter. You only have to take the things, learn the things from last year, but we all start from new.

“We have a lot of good players. I try to play as much as possible, but we will see.

“Because of this we have a high-quality squad like this. Everyone needs to step in if someone is missing, injured or not in the best shape. We are looking good and I am looking forward to the season.”

Liverpool are currently in the United States where they will play three friendly games. And Joel Matip says that the games are going to be helpful.

He added: “You have to get used to it, it’s intense, but it is good for the pre-season.

“We need these sessions to get better and strong. It’s about fitness, getting the rhythm back, playing football and getting used to the intensity.

“You always try to lead from the front, but there are a lot of good young players trying their best [here] – we all help each other. That’s how it works in the team.”