Jurgen Klopp rules out January exit for Joe Gomez
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has ruled out a January move for Joe Gomez, who has played just 341 minutes of football this season.
The 24-year-old used to be the Reds’ first-choice central defender alongside Virgil van Dijk, but a prolonged spell out of the team because of a knee tendon injury has seen Gomez slip down the pecking order.
Joel Matip has been Liverpool‘s preferred option this season, while the club added to their ranks in the summer by signing Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig in a deal worth £36m – no doubt a result of the plague of injuries that affected the club during 2020/21.
Nat Phillips is also an established option, although he may depart the club in January after Klopp previously indicated that he would stand in his way should he wish to seek regular football.
The same can’t be said for Gomez, though, who 90min revealed in October is concerned about his sporadic appearances because they may end up costing him a place in England’s squad for next winter’s World Cup in Qatar.
Speaking in his latest press conference, ahead of the Premier League game with Newcastle at Anfield, Klopp ruled out a January exit for Gomez after admitting he’d had a tough year.
“It was obviously not the best year for him, but that’s how it goes,” Klopp said of Gomez. “We are patient, and Joe is patient.
“I have no plans to give anybody on loan in the winter.”
90min has learned that Gomez has made his feelings known to Klopp about his lack of minutes – something he previously did in 2019 before establishing himself as a key figure in the side – but is not actively seeking a move away from Liverpool. Instead, he wants more of an opportunity to prove he’s the right man to partner Van Dijk in defence.
Klopp also answered questions on the fitness of Roberto Firmino and Curtis Jones, confirming the duo are both back in training after injury, and spoke of his, and the club’s, ongoing concerns around Covid-19, revealing eligible players in his squad had already received their booster vaccination.
“Yesterday we were all negative and we hope that is the case for today,” Klopp remarked when asked about any positive Covid-19 cases at the club. “We are, like the whole world, concerned about it. The vaccination status of the squad is good. Those eligible got the booster.
“The whole vaccination thing is a question of loyalty, solidarity and togetherness.
“Everyone working at the training ground is at least double-vaccinated and will get the booster as soon as possible.”