Joe Gomez set for overdue Liverpool milestone after overcoming adversity


Jurgen Klopp said Joe Gomez had never asked to leave Liverpool and said the club’s longest-serving player is “absolutely at home” at Anfield.

Gomez is set to bring up 200 Liverpool appearances in January after a time on Merseyside that has been interrupted by serious injuries and spells on the bench. Klopp admitted the defender had a difficult campaign last year and, partly due to injuries, he had only started 25 league games in the three seasons before this one.

But the 26-year-old has excelled in three positions so far this season and, in the absence of the injured Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas, is Klopp’s first-choice left-back for the next few weeks.

But the German said that, even in the tough times, the former Charlton player never wanted a transfer. Aston Villa were interested when former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was their manager but Gomez, a 2015 signing, is now the only survivor of Brendan Rodgers’ team who is in Klopp’s squad.

“I think Joe is absolutely at home here so that is No.1 [reason],” Klopp said. “Joe had the problem of too many injuries in his time here – I’m not sure exactly the number – and the number of games he has had, with the quality he has, has nothing to do with me or Brendan; he was playing quite frequently when I arrived.

“Then he was injured. He came back from international duty with the Under 21s injured but in our most successful seasons he played centre half next to Virgil [van Dijk], very often, not all the time, but mixed probably with Joel [Matip] and Dejan [Lovren] but he played a lot of games.

“He can play all the positions at the back and that is very important. He didn’t have a good year last year but he is absolutely back to his best, or maybe at his best at the moment, because he is still a young man – it is crazy to think that – but he is just for us a super-important player.

“He never came to my office and asked, ‘Can I go?’ No, never. It was always sorted before it could get to that point. We sorted a new contract, he wanted to sign and he wanted to stay. I think him and his wife really feel he is Liverpool through and through and so that is the reason more than anything else.

“He knows that in his time with his injuries that if you go somewhere and get injured you are just a different player but here he is still our boy and we will deal with it and you have all time to get back and that is a positive as well.”



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