COMMENT by Emma Sanders
Joe Gomez has the potential to become the best left-back at Liverpool in a generation after returning from a long-term injury.
The Reds’ have yet to find a solid left-back since John Arne Riise departed in August 2008 following over 200 appearances.
The position has been a major headache for Liverpool in recent years, with Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers all failing to find a suitable candidate for the role.
This season, James Milner has adopted the position despite spending most of his career in the midfield battleground.
However, after confirming Gomez’ return to full training, Jurgen Klopp has been given a boost as one of the club’s brightest youngsters can finally show why he could be the solution to a decade-long problem.
Klopp says Lovren and Clyne are ‘in the race’ for United game. Confirms that Gomez back in full training #LFC
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) October 14, 2016
Gomez has been out of action for a year after picking up a serious ACL injury while on England under-21s duty, before receiving a further set-back when he was diagnosed with Tendinopathy in his Achilles.
The club brought the 19 year-old year-old from Charlton Athletic for £3.5 million in June 2015 and at the time, it was a surprisingly high amount for a defender who was relatively unknown.
Gomez is a natural centre-back but he was thrust onto the scene earlier than planned when Rodgers introduced him as a left-back during Liverpool’s clash against Stoke in August 2015.
He excelled hugely and produced an immaculate debut performance in which few described him as ‘a defensive sensation’ as he helped his side keep a clean sheet.
In the left-back role, he went on to make seven starts for the Reds and impressed for England’s youth team before his injury halted what could’ve been an astonishing season for the youngster.
The fact he was given a round of applause by his Anfield teammates upon his return to training was an indication of the respect he has been shown despite only featuring on a handful of occasions.
Though it’s not his natural position, if Klopp can coach Gomez into the role, he may well be the best one the club’s had for some time and promises to become a future star.
In other Liverpool news, fans react as Klopp makes a dig at Dutch fitness guru during Friday’s press conference.