It has been a cautious and closely monitored return to action for Joe Gomez and rightly so given the torrid period he endured on the sidelines last year.
The 19-year-old recovered from anterior cruciate ligament and Achilles injuries earlier this season and has since featured for the first team in cup games as well as for the U23s.
Unyielding criticism of Liverpool’s defence has triggered fans to call for Jurgen Klopp to experiment and put his faith in the teenager by starting him alongside Joel Matip at centre-back.
Though this seems unlikely at the moment with Dejan Lovren nearing his return to fitness, it is an option Klopp has to consider between now and the end of the season if things don’t improve.
The German is a well-known admirer of the youngster and will surely be tempted to hand him another opportunity to impress.
Gomez himself has addressed his own condition, describing how strong he is feeling and how much he is enjoying being back on the pitch.
“I’ve had the chance to get a lot of 90-minute [appearances] now,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“It’s important that I keep building. You can always keep learning and it’s good for me to keep getting minutes, as well as learning in training from everyone in the first team.”
“I feel very good. I feel like I’m learning and finding myself each game. It’s good to get some minutes; it’s a great experience for me and good to come into such a strong team and be able to play a part.”
“It’s important that I come into every game and keep getting into good habits and doing my best to help be a leader within the team.”
The stronger he gets, the greater chance there is of seeing him line up for the senior team in a Premier League match again.
He has all the physical attributes to make him an accomplished modern day defender and an asset to this team moving forward. If now isn’t his time, we’re confident next season will be.