Off the back of signing a new contract at Liverpool, Joe Gomez has returned to pre-season training in fine shape.
Gomez’s performance in pre-season training has been greeted by a simple “Wow!” from Klopp who is notably impressed with the 25-year-old.
After Virgil van Dijk tore his ACL just weeks prior to Gomez’s knee problems, the Englishman was being backed to fill the void left by his centre-back partner.
It was a golden opportunity for Gomez. He could prove himself as a top-class defender by himself, without needing a helping hand from the best defender in the world in Van Dijk.
So his own injury problems, which followed Van Dijk’s, were as much a psychological blow as they were physical.
Ever since returning from his injury, unlike the Dutchman, Gomez hasn’t been able to seamlessly re-join the starting line-up at Liverpool.
The strong form of Joel Matip and the arrival of Ibrahima Konaté got in Gomez’s way last season, limiting him to just four Premier League starts.
Even when he was given on-pitch opportunities, he was usually deployed at right-back as an understudy for Trent Alexander-Arnold rather than in his preferred centre-back role.
Thus, his recent contract extension has raised a few eyebrows, with many expecting Liverpool would sell the English defender this summer.
But Gomez will be given the chance to prove his quality this season, hopefully through another injury-free campaign for the young defender.
Gomez’s qualities have always been self-evident. It is easy to understand why Liverpool still view him as the ideal long-term partner for Ibrahima Konaté.
For now though, Gomez needs trust and opportunities if he is to start realising his potential once again.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy