By Noel Whelan

4th Nov, 2022 | 5:00pm

Joe Gomez set for permanent Liverpool axe after 'shocking' development - pundit

Noel Whelan has claimed Joe Gomez’s recent performances have “opened the door” for Ibrahim Konate to return permanently to the Liverpool lineup.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 25-year-old’s “shocking” backpass against the Whites may have been the final nail in the coffin for his hopes of remaining first choice.

Konate, who has recently returned from a knee injury, was restored to the starting eleven at Gomez’s expense as Liverpool beat Napoli 2-0 on Tuesday (1 November).

The France international had been on the bench for the Merseysiders’ previous two fixtures against Ajax and Leeds United.

Gomez, who signed a fresh five-year deal during the off-season, has made 11 starts for the struggling Reds so far this term.

Ninth-place Liverpool face third-place Tottenham on Sunday (6 November) as they look to avoid a third straight Premier League defeat.

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Whelan backed Konate to deal with the “presence” of Spurs star Harry Kane.

When asked if he thought the former RB Leipzig defender was now well clear of Gomez in the pecking order, he told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “I really do.

“I was surprised he didn’t come straight back in against Leeds United.

“He’s got better aerial ability than Gomez, he’s got a better partnership with Van Dijk.

“The mistake from Gomez against Leeds, it was shocking. He didn’t even look where the keeper was, and that just opens the door for Konate to come straight back in.

“They’ve got Tottenham at the weekend, and with the presence they have up front with Kane – they’re going to need a player like Konate.”

In other news, pundit details “the truth” about Darwin Nunez after talkSPORT claim at Liverpool.