Former Leeds United defender Danny Mills reckons Jurgen Klopp doesn’t think too highly of young centre half Joe Gomez.
It’s true that he’s struggled for first team opportunities of late, but when Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren are all out-performing him then the boss doesn’t really have a choice to make.
There’s no doubt of Gomez’s ability – the Englishman has shades of big Virg in his game, when he’s playing the best he can.
We saw last season how well he can play, but a relentless Matip has meant Gomez has had a very small window in which to impress the boss.
Mills believes that the young defender will be getting time at an U23 level behind closed doors, but must not be doing enough to change Klopp’s mind.
“We all expect Joe Gomez to go on to great things. He burst onto the scene and there’s no doubt he’s an exceptional talent but so far you see Matip has got himself first in line for the second centre-half pairing and then Lovren,” he told Football Insider.
“Gomez is maybe going to have to up his game in training a little bit, keep working hard as he possibly can. (Is Klopp not seeing enough in training?) It has to be, I’m sure he’s played in behind-closed-door games and maybe under-23 games as well but this is a team at the top of the league.
“They’re doing outstandingly well and you can’t doubt Jurgen Klopp in any way, shape or form. As much as we’d love a young English player in Gomez to be starting, if the manager doesn’t think he’s not quite good enough, then you have to say the manager says he’s not quite good enough.”
These quotes come at an interesting time, as Gomez was linked with a move away from Anfield yesterday by 90min.
Personally, I think Jurgen Klopp sees Gomez as Virgil van Dijk’s long-term partner – while Matip is playing as well as he is, there is no reason to force the England defender into the fold.
Gomez can cover Trent Alexander-Arnold at right back, and I’m sure that will further appeal to the boss going forward.
He’ll get more opportunities to prove himself soon at Liverpool, I’m sure, and I hope he sticks around and this latest rumour is nothing but exactly that.