Former England international Danny Mills thinks that Liverpool’s Joe Gomez faces a fight to reclaim his place in the Reds’ starting XI following his showing in the recent 5-5 draw against Arsenal.
Last week’s 10-goal thriller did not see either defence cover themselves in glory as Liverpool edged their opponents out on penalties, but having lost his starting place since getting injured last season, Mills believes his performance did him no favours.
Speaking to Football Insider, Mills sympathised with Gomez, as the centre-back looks to be stuck in a three-way battle to partner Virgil van Dijk in the Reds defence, with just one league start to his name this season.
Questioned on whether his performance last week helps his chances, he said: “No, it doesn’t help, does it? I think afterwards when Jurgen Klopp said let’s just appreciate the fact it was an incredible game, an incredible attacking game, let’s not get into the tactics, I think he’s right.
“It’s not easy when you change the team, you can play in training as much as you like but when you’ve made so many changes, it’s hard to get that connectivity, it’s hard to get that understanding.”
While Gomez no longer seems to be first-choice for Liverpool – with Dejan Lovren currently preferred alongside Van Dijk since Joel Matip was sidelined with injury – perhaps the 22-year-old should be asking himself why that is the case, having previously held down a first-team place at the start of last season.
Although his long-term absence through injury will hardly have helped matters, Gomez could have been a victim of Liverpool’s success in that manager Klopp opted to stick with Matip once the Cameroonian had nailed himself down as Gomez’s replacement following Liverpool’s relentless yet fruitless run towards the Premier League title.
But to suddenly find himself as potential fourth-choice with Wednesday’s outing just his second start in all of October, perhaps it is now a question of Gomez’s ability now that his fitness issues seem to be behind him.
Even if you were to class the recent 5-5 draw as a freak result as Klopp and Mills have, the state of play has not changed for Gomez as he spent another league game on the bench at the weekend – with his first-team status still unclear.
Can Joe Gomez regain his starting spot?
Liverpool fans, who should partner Van Dijk when all four centre-backs are fit? Join the discussion in the comments below!
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