Liverpool’s Joel Matip has been named PFA Premier League Player of the Month for September.
The Reds’ defender has been a rock at the heart of his team’s defence as they secured another three wins to maintain their perfect record this season.
Matip has been brought in from the cold at Anfield, having been fourth choice in the pecking order last season to playing a crucial role in their Champions League triumph.
The 28-year-old has developed a strong understanding with central defensive partner Virgil van Dijk, with the Reds conceding just twice in the month.
He beat Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson, Leicester’s Ricardo Pereira and Manchester City duo Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez to the award.
Aubameyang was perhaps Matip’s strongest contender for the accolade, having scored five goals in four games, while Wilson netted four in three.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said recently of his defender: “In a world of big transfer fees, to sign a player like Joel Matip on a free transfer is incredible.
“It was maybe one of the best pieces of business we did in the last few years.”
“Joel is in a really good moment and long may it continue.”
The Cameroonian has been out of action for Liverpool’s last two fixtures with injury however – with Klopp rotating both Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren as cover.
Klopp looks likely to collect the equivalent manager of the month award for the second time in succession after winning it in August.
The German boss has been nominated for the prize along with Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, Chelsea’s Frank Lampard, and Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers.
But Klopp is the only one of the four who has steered his team to victories in all their games for the month.
Liverpool are now eight points clear at the top of the Premier League having earned a maximum 24 points from eight games.