All Hail the Joe Gomez Resurrection at Liverpool

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Joe Gomez: Liverpool’s Unsung Hero

In a parallel universe, Joe Gomez would have been playing his football elsewhere right now, having departed Liverpool in last summer’s transfer window.

There were many Reds supporters, myself included, who had lost faith in the 26-year-old this time 12 months ago, following some dire performances last season.

In hindsight, it was hard to be too tough on individuals, given the failings of the team as a unit, but Gomez still looked like someone who had drifted past his best and who was expendable.

Some of his blistering speed looked to have left him, and his ability to throw in a howler of a performance – one littered with lapses of concentration – was becoming worryingly common.

Rediscovering Form: Gomez’s Journey Back to Top

Liverpool have roared back in sensational fashion this season, silencing those who felt they would never return to being a true force under Jurgen Klopp, and his impact has been as great as it has been important.

There are so many others who make more headlines, from the imperious Virgil van Dijk to the still-world-class Mohamed Salah, but the Englishman’s impact has been as great as it has been important.

Versatile Defender: Excelling in Every Role

While minutes at centre-back have been rare for Gomez, he has been excellent in both full-back roles, filling in at right-back for Trent Alexander-Arnold on occasions, but perhaps most impressively, doing a fantastic job at left-back, where he played under Brendan Rodgers back in 2015.

Liverpool have cruelly seen both Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas suffer serious shoulder injuries in recent months, and while that had the potential to derail their Premier League title challenge, Gomez has stepped up, not only defending doggedly but also providing so much attacking thrust.

On Monday night, the former Charlton youngster was again superb in the Reds’ 4-2 win over Newcastle, standing out as one of his side’s best players, even though that was typically overlooked in some quarters.

Beyond Defence: Gomez’s Growing Offensive Game

Gomez enjoyed an 86% pass completion rate at Anfield, with three out of four long balls completed, and he also made one tackle and interception apiece.

His physicality allowed him to get the better of whoever he was up against, whether it be Anthony Gordon or Miguel Almiron, and there was a calmness about him that has too often been lacking in the last few seasons.

Gomez isn’t Robertson in an attacking sense, lacking his natural width at left-back and not possessing the same final ball, but he is growing in stature in that part of his game all the time.

Much is being made of him never scoring a goal in his senior career to date, but it really does feel as though it is coming.

When it does happen, it is going to be a glorious moment that sees his teammates show their love for someone who appears to be a popular colleague.

Looking Ahead: The Future for Joe Gomez

As mentioned, there is nothing headline-making about Gomez – not least because the poor man seems immune to scoring a goal! – but this is arguably the best form he has been in since the early months of the title-winning season in 2019/20.

Back then, he was performing every bit as well as Van Dijk and looked like a future world-beater for club and country, but bad luck has often intervened.

Gomez has suffered so many dark periods through injury, suffering a number of serious setbacks that have ruled him out for huge spells of time, but he looks full of life, faster than ever and also brimming with confidence again.

Given his likeable nature as a player, it is so heartwarming to see.

Should Gomez continue this current form, he will surely be pushing for a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad at Euro 2024, and while he hasn’t been playing at centre-back much, he could even look like John Stones’ strongest partner there come the end of the season.

Having Robertson back will make a huge difference, but on current form, Gomez is ensuring that Liverpool don’t miss him and Tsimikas too much, excelling every game and playing a big role in the Reds’ quest to secure a second Premier League title.

Still only 26, there could be so much more to come from Gomez, assuming he can avoid another serious injury, and his resurrection at Anfield has been great to see.

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