Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has stressed that Joe Gomez needs to ‘keep working really hard’ if he is to reclaim his place in the team, although the boss admitted ‘it is not easy’.
Already having to contend with working his way back to full fitness off the back of last season’s long-term ACL injury, competition for places from a resurgent Joel Matip and summer signing Ibrahima Konate has pushed Gomez down the pecking order at Anfield.
The 24-year-old had previously been a regular next to Virgil van Dijk during Liverpool’s Premier League title winning campaign. But he is yet to start a league match this season, appearing just twice from the bench, while two of his only three starts in total have been in the Carabao Cup.
90min revealed at the start of the week that Gomez is growing increasingly concerned that his lack of playing time at Liverpool will affect his chances with England at a time when the 2022 World Cup is starting to appear on the horizon.
Gomez has informed Klopp of his frustrations, just as he did once before in 2019 ahead of landing himself a starting place. There is no suggestion the player is looking to leave Anfield, but he may start to consider his position if things haven’t changed by January.
“It is not easy. That is clear. But it was always clear that in our situation we had to bring in a defender, we all agreed,” Klopp explained as he faced the media on Friday.
“Joey hasn't played much, that's how it is, he had a long-term injury. We have to deal with him with the intensity and now we're not even halfway through the season and we are talking about these things,” the Liverpool boss continued.
“Hopefully no injuries but that's a footballer's life. You have to be on top of your game for the moment you come in. The only thing you can do is keep working really hard.”