Liverpool defender Joel Matip has turned down the opportunity to resurrect his international career with Cameroon at next month’s Africa Cup of Nations.
The 25-year-old has not represented Les Lions since 2015 after criticising the setup within the national side, although he did recently hold talks with coach Hugo Broos over the issue.
It appears the talks have not had the desired effect, however, as the former Schalke player has rejected the chance to end his self-enforced international exile, meaning he will not participate at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations that are being held in Gabon from January 14 to February 5.
Matip’s decision will come as good news for Liverpool, who should now have the centre-back available for potentially crucial matches against Manchester United and Chelsea in the league, as well as both legs of their EFL Cup semi-final showdown with Southampton.
The defender has scored one goal in 11 Premier League appearances since joining the Reds from Schalke during the summer, although he missed the team’s dramatic 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth last weekend due to ankle injury.
Matip has since recovered from the problem, making his return to first-team training this week, and he is likely to feature in Liverpool’s Premier League clash with West Ham at Anfield on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are priced 1.29 to win the match, while the Hammers are available at 10.00 and the draw is on offer at 6.00.