New Liverpool signing Joel Matip may sit out as many as six games next season, after Cameroon confirmed their place at next January’s African Cup of Nations.
The centre-back signed a pre-contract agreement at Liverpool earlier in the year, and is set to officially become a Red when his Schalke contract expires at the end of the month.
But Jurgen Klopp may already have to plan for life without his new man after The Lions qualified for next year’s African Cup of Nations with a 1-0 win over Mauritania last weekend.
The competition is set to take place between January 14 and February 5, meaning the 24-year-old could miss four league games aswell as the League Cup Semi-Final 2nd leg and FA Cup Fifth Round – should the Reds make it.
Matip has not been called up to the national team since November however, and head coach Hugo Broos was since quoted as saying that he does not believe the 25-year-old has been sufficiently motivated to represent his country in recent months.
Such omissions are common for European-based players from Africa during the qualifying stages of competitions though, and it is likely that Broos will want to strike an agreement to bring the defender back in time for Africa’s major international tournament.
Cameroon have not won the competition for 12 years, and will be keen to perform well at next year’s finals ahead of hosting the competition in 2019.
They face South Africa in their final qualifying match in September, having already secured top spot in a group containing Bafana Bafana, Mauritania and Gambia.