While Joe Gomez has been strongly linked with a move to Aston Villa this month, it’s important to note that it wasn’t that long ago that Virgil van Dijk said he and Ibrahima Konate would take his place in the future.
According to a report from Football Insider, a source at Aston Villa claims that they will make a bid to sign Gomez this week despite Liverpool’s insistence they want to keep the 24-year-old.
For fans, it’s a difficult position. I understand now why fans of smaller clubs consider fans of bigger clubs to be privileged and it’s because we are.
Last season, we got a taste of what it must be like every season at a club like West Ham or even a much smaller club like Norwich City when their centre-halves get injured as all of Jurgen Klopp’s central defenders were ruled out with an injury at one point or another.
This season, however, we Liverpool fans are complaining about how Gomez and Ibrahima Konate aren’t getting enough game time while Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip monopolise the minutes available.
Gomez, in particular, has been left on the sidelines a lot more than his French teammate and has only appeared for 12 Premier League minutes this season, 144 Champions League minutes and 284 in the EFL Cup, according to Transfermarkt.
Letting the £340,000/month ace leave, however, would border on negligence and when you look back at how he and Virgil van Dijk formed one of the most menacing partnerships on the planet, I can’t help but feel he can still reach world-class levels.
My unpopular opinion is that Gomez would be in the top five centre backs in the world if he had managed to avoid all injuries over the last several years.
He’s the full package. He’s rapid for a centre-back and can use his pace to catch any striker in the game with the exception of a handful of major names like perhaps Kylian Mbappe although I would pay top dollar to see that foot race.
Gomez is also a fantastic ball-playing centre-half and is able to play the ball out from the back with ease. He might not go on adventures like Joel Matip but the Cameroonian has been slack with his passing at the back recently which has been concerning.
Most impressively, the former Charlton Athletic star seems able to strike up a relationship with almost any centre-back at Liverpool and this bodes well for his ability to play at the club long-term should Virgil van Dijk or Ibrahima Konate get injured.
Speaking of the Dutchman and the Frenchman, it wasn’t too long ago that van Dijk told the club’s official YouTube channel that Konate and Gomez will one day take his place in the starting XI.
Van Dijk said: “These two are gonna take my place at one point though.”
Liverpool are blessed with arguably the strongest depth at centre-back in Europe but as the boss, Jurgen Klopp, will agree with, it’s not always easy to keep top players happy on the bench and if Gomez wants to leave and isn’t happy to wait for his time in the starting XI, there isn’t much the club can do.
It would be a little disappointing if he decided to leave after the club stuck with him despite four serious injuries over the last several years but hopefully he stays and makes his way back into the starting XI soon.