Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on Joe Gomez, who’s enjoying a very good pre-season, but has suggested part of his improvement is down to losing the unnecessary muscle mass he’d put on.
The manager said that when Gomez returned from his last injury, he was overweight – but not due to over-eating, but due to over-gyming!
It’s interesting, as Gomez has always looked quite slight to us, and what’s more – the centre-back position is one where strength is a key attribute.
But the boss reckons Gomez’s current physical state is now perfect…
“Last night I had a long talk with him,” Klopp told the Echo.
“When I came in I saw him for about 20 minutes playing in the under-21s. Then he got the injury and I thought: ‘Oh my God’.
“Everybody told me what a wonderful player he is. When he came back he got injured and then when he came back again he was heavy.
“He had a lot of muscle and you only need muscles like that if you’re only going to the beach or whatever.
“We had to work on this and now he’s back. He lost weight, he’s really fit, he looks sharp. There are still things to improve.
“His heading was really good, but he can improve — he needs to be a little more aggressive.”
Due to Nathaniel Clyne’s injury, it looks like Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold are in a straight fight to start the new campaign at right-back.
Alexander-Arnold is a naturally more offensive player in the position, but Gomez is slightly more experienced and better at the back.
After his excellent outing at Hertha Berlin, we’d actually back Gomez to be slightly ahead in the current pecking order.
He impressed greatly at left-back two seasons ago following a good summer, so we hope he’s in line to do so again.