Liverpool suffered yet another massive injury blow this past week, when Joe Gomez confirmed he would miss the Champions League final and the World Cup as he recovers from ankle surgery.
Regrettably for Gomez, Liverpool, and England supporters, the injury could have easily been averted if Jurgen Klopp had shown more patience when welcoming the defender back into action.
The 20-year-old defender suffered an ankle injury when on international duty with England in late March, but was ushered back into the Liverpool first team just under a month later.
With Liverpool’s top-four finish essentially secure by late April, and with the much bigger tasks of the Champions League final rounds and the World Cup ahead, it would have been prudent for the German manager to treat his young defender with extreme caution.
However, bafflingly, Klopp placed Gomez in the starting lineups for league matches against lowly West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City, where the English international looked far from his imperious best.
The 28 April 0-0 draw against the Potters marked the last time Gomez will play this season, as the youngster suffered a recurrence of his ankle injury and was forced to undergo season-ending surgery.
The operation not only ruled Gomez out for the rest of Liverpool’s league campaign, but also sidelines him for the European Cup final and this summer’s World Cup.
Gareth Southgate has now been robbed of a reliable defensive option in Russia, and Liverpool are dangerously thin at the back for their massive match against the two-time defending European champions.
A double blow for both club and country could have easily been avoided if Jurgen Klopp hadn’t taken an unnecessary risk in rushing Gomez back when he was still not fully fit.