Liverpool news: Emerging partnership has "hit the ground running" after major setbacks

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp claps the supporters

Emmet Gates has praised Liverpool duo Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip for their strong start to the new season. 

Both central defenders spent the majority of last season on the sidelines but they've formed a solid partnership together so far this term. 

What's the latest news involving Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip?

Liverpool's infamous injury crisis at the heart of defence last season saw both van Dijk and Matip sidelined for much of 2020/21. 

Matip made just 12 appearances last term and didn't feature at all after an ankle injury in January, while van Dijk injured his ACL against Everton in October and sat out the rest of the season.

There was an underlying assumption that Liverpool's only major summer signing Ibrahima Konate would go on to partner the Dutchman at centre-back.

However, Matip has emerged as Jurgen Klopp's favoured option alongside van Dijk so far, with the duo playing together in all but one of Liverpool's seven Premier League games for 2021/22. 

From those outings, Liverpool have kept an impressive three clean sheets and conceded only six goals overall, despite facing two key title rivals in Chelsea and Manchester City. 

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What has Emmet Gates said about Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip?

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Gates singled out both Liverpool defenders for praise, claiming they'd hit the ground running after returning from injury.

He told GMS: "They've come back and they've hit the ground running. They've hardly missed a beat. I thought they were very good against Man City. They shackled Romelu Lukaku in the Chelsea game and hardly gave him a kick the whole ninety minutes.

"So I've been very impressed with how they've formed a partnership, they look very comfortable."

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How much does Virgil van Dijk earn and when does his contract expire.?

Van Dijk is the highest-paid player at Anfield according to Spotrac, who claim he is paid £220k per week. Matip takes home less than half of that - just £100k per week. 

Van Dijk recently signed a new contract with the Merseyside club, which will keep him at Anfield until 2025. Matip's deal, meanwhile, isn't due to expire until 2024.

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With that in mind, Jurgen Klopp will be hoping their partnership can prove to be a long-term asset for Liverpool rather than just a flash in the pan. 

A lot of that will depend on whether Matip can stay fit. The Cameroon international has already suffered 13 different injuries since signing from Schalke in summer 2016.

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