A long term knee injury has made it a gruelling year for youngster Joe Gomez but he is now back and prepared to start fighting for a place in the first team.
The 19-year-old played 45 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Melwood earlier in the month, before going on to play 90 minutes in a 4-0 win for the U23s over Burnley in last night’s Lancashire Senior Cup tie.
Prior to his appearance in yesterday’s fixture, Gomez spoke of his determination to work his way back into Jurgen Klopp’s first team.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: “The way the team is playing, it is the sort of team you want to play for.”
“It’s going to make it a challenge to get back in and around it. It’s a great team to play for and that’s what you aspire to do.”
“After a long-term injury, you’ve got to be careful with how far you push it. I’ve just got to be patient and build up my minutes, gradually taking my time getting back to full fitness. It’s all part of the journey.”
Joe Gomez returning to action is a significant boost for Klopp’s side. Not only does he bolster an already strong squad but he creates greater competition for places in the Liverpool back four.
His impressive start to life on Merseyside last season was cruelly halted by injury, yet nobody has forgotten about how good this young man can become.
The foundations to every attribute required as a defender are there for him to build on and to help him eventually become a crucial player for years to come in this side.
He has the pace, athleticism, strength and composure that will see him mature into a valuable figure at the back. The experience and the know-how is what will come with more game time, but we have reason to be excited by him.
It won’t be long before we see him gracing the Anfield turf, once again.