Jurgen Klopp: Why I’m convinced of this Liverpool defender’s quality
The Liverpool manager talks up England Under-21 international Joe Gomez
Jurgen Klopp says everybody at Liverpool is convinced that Joe Gomez will develop into a quality player.
The England Under-21 international is still waiting to make his first appearance under Klopp after the left-back suffered a serious knee injury during international duty in October 2015.
Gomez picked up the problem just days after Klopp was appointed as Brendan Rodgers’s successor at the Anfield outfit following the Merseyside outfit’s disappointing start to the season.
Liverpool signed Gomez in a £5m deal from Charlton Athletic in the 2015 summer transfer window.
The London-born defender started Liverpool’s opening five Premier League games before Gomez dropped out of the side.
Speaking to Liverpool’s website about the 21-year-old versatile defender, Klopp explained why he has made space for the Englishman in his squad despite England youth international’s injury problems.
“Everybody was sure about his quality, everybody is sure about his quality. He’s a very, very young boy and we took him for a reason – OK, before I was here, but it was a good reason. So yes, we try to create somehow space that he can develop and perform when possible.”
Gomez’s injury coincided almost exactly with Klopp’s appointment as Liverpool manager 15 months ago, but the boss revealed that the player’s unavailability may even have strengthened their relationship.
“We had actually a lot of contact. That’s how it is with injured players, a lot of time of the day [they are] here because they have treatment, different kinds of therapy, training, whatever,” Klopp said.
“So for a player who’s nearly never played for me, we have a good relationship I would say. I spoke to him [more] than maybe other players. We met always because I’m here a little bit longer than the players obviously. We met at lunchtime, we had dinner a lot of times together so yes, it’s good.”
Liverpool are in second place in the Premier League table and five points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
The Reds will take on Southampton in their next game in the League Cup semi-final.