Jurgen Klopp hopeful Liverpool defender Joe Gomez will return from knee injury in time for pre-season
According to the Liverpool Echo, Jurgen Klopp is hopeful of having Liverpool defender Joe Gomez back fit from a serious knee injury in time for the Anfield natives’ pre-season plans.
Gomez has not stepped foot on a field since rupturing his patella while on international duty with England in November, sparking fears of a potential year on the sidelines after requiring surgery to fix the tendon.
Liverpool refused to offer a timescale on Gomez’s rehabilitation at the time of the operation amid the potential for the 24-year-old to play again this season, but he would fail to make a single match day squad since drawing 1-1 with Manchester City on November 8.
Gomez’s lengthy absence left Klopp facing an injury crisis in defence with Virgil van Dijk out after surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament, while also often without Joel Matip with the Cameroonian suffering with a spate of thigh, back, groin and ankle problems.
It is expected that Gomez and Matip will have to fight with a new arrival at Liverpool in the summer transfer window for the centre-back slot beside Van Dijk next season, with neither guaranteed of a regular role at Anfield.
Klopp is hopeful that Gomez will be able to take a full part in the Reds’ pre-season plans, which may include friendlies with Manchester United after the two clubs held tentative talks over the potential for fixtures in the lead up to the new Premier League campaign.
TBR’s view: Gomez is a big boost for Klopp and Liverpool
Gomez returning to fitness in time for Liverpool’s pre-season plans and the new Premier League campaign will come as a big boost to Klopp and the Anfield natives, in having another option to select after a year forced to promote from within to plug a flood of gaps.
The England international may face heighted competition for the spot beside Van Dijk next term, but Klopp was full of praise for Gomez last year and expected to see more from the 11-cap enforcer once he is able to get consistent minutes in his best position.
“Joe jumped between right-back and centre-half, which is not perfect when you have no rhythm. If you are in a good moment, it’s no problem, but in that moment Joe had no real rhythm and that’s why he struggled a little bit,” Klopp told LiverpoolFC.com.
“But since he is playing as a centre-half again – his natural position – together with Virg there is exceptional. He is a sensational footballer, which is good. He has outstanding speed, which helps us a lot to keep our last line high.”
Gomez’s injury prevented Klopp’s ambitions of seeing the centre-back push on in a consistent central defensive role, so will hope to see the 24-year-old kick on strongly once he has returned to fitness.
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