Joe Gomez was so good in the early part of the season that many Liverpool fans must have feared the worst when they had to rely on Joel Matip to deputise after his injury.
But the German centre-half has stepped up impressively and that was not lost on BT Sport pundit Michael Owen, after the Reds cruised into the semi-finals of the Champions League with a 6-1 aggregate win over Porto.
Speaking on BT Sport, as relayed by the Star, he said: “He’s under pressure now, now Gomez is back fit. It’s his position Gomez could take.
“But Gomez has not played many minutes just yet, so he’s got the shirt. He’s been brilliant this season, Matip, because I didn’t expect it from him if I’m honest. I never really looked at him and thought ‘he’s a Liverpool starter’.”
Owen is right that Matip coming in for Gomez has not derailed Liverpool’s season in a way that it might have done, and that’s credit to the player.
It’s also down to having Virgil van Dijk next to him, as well as the increased defensive organisation Liverpool have shown this season.
But would Liverpool fans feel more confident with Gomez back in the fold as the Champions League and the Premier League hots up? You’d have to feel they would.