This will be Joe Gomez’s fifth season at Liverpool and he’s already started getting ready for it as one of the first few Reds already training at Melwood.
Along with the likes of Joël Matip, Fabinho, James Milner, Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the 22-year-old has been put through his paces as Jürgen Klopp’s players prepare for the upcoming campaign.
Joe Gomez only conceded 4 goals in 12 league games as a CB this season next to Van Dijk.
It gets even more impressive when you consider who they were against:
• Leicester (9th)
• Tottenham (4th)
• Chelsea (3rd)
• Arsenal (5th) pic.twitter.com/UVAiS73zIv
— LFC Torres (@WC_LFC_Torres) June 12, 2019
“Obviously it is as intense as you’d expect when you first come back, a lot of running and dusting the cobwebs off. But it feels good, it’s nice to be back,” he told the official club website.
“It was nice to end on such a high last season and we just want to carry on where we left off and keep the momentum going.”
“That’s the bit we enjoy, the football bit.
“The games are coming thick and fast, we’ve got a game early on and it’s a quick turnaround. The staff want us to get going as quickly as possible, tactically, while trying to get fit at the same time.”
Klopp has urged his side on and challenged them to achieve even more than they already have, a stimulus that Gomez admits he’s “definitely” on board with.
“We can be happy and proud of the achievement but we’ve got so much more work to do and so many ways to improve as well.
“The Premier League was so close and I think that’s all the motivation we need, that we were so close but so far at the same time in the fact that we didn’t get it.
“It’s something we want to get this year and to do so we can’t get complacent or dwell on what happened last season, we have to hit the ground running again now.”
“We can’t get complacent or dwell on what happened last season, we have to hit the ground running again now.” @J_Gomez97 👊
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 8, 2019
After an impressive start to the season was curtailed by injury at Burnley, Klopp will be hoping that Gomez can indeed hit the ground running, preferably at centre-back though we all know that he can play at right-back if called upon.
The Englishman was quizzed on this versatile aspect to his game, but seemed to suggest where he sees his positional, long-term future: “I’ve played a number of positions over the years I’ve been here.
“I like to excel in one and nail that spot but I’m happy to play wherever for the team and the manager. It’s just about development in whatever way I can and doing all the extra bits I can to develop off the pitch as well as on it. Hopefully things fall into place.”
We don’t need De Ligt. Joe Gomez and Matip have proved themselves that they are trustworthy partners for Van Dijk this season, and Lovren is capable as a 4th backup CB.
As much as De Ligt has potential to be world class, Joe has similar potential so it wouldn’t make sense. pic.twitter.com/gqPQpLifj9
— Samuel (@SamueILFC) June 10, 2019
Striking up an watertight partnership with Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the Reds’ defence in the first few months of the 2018/19 season, Gomez kept eight clean sheets in 13 Premier League games.
The lower leg fracture he sustained against Burnley eventually saw Joël Matip step up more than admirably in his stead to hugely raise the bar for the Reds’ centre-backs.
This pre-season, however, will hopefully allow the first-choice of axis of Van Dijk/Gomez to be re-established while the Reds potentially enter the market for a back-up right-back to Trent Alexander-Arnold, which will allow Gomez to keep things tight alongside his Dutch teammate.