Jurgen Klopp 'lifesaver' has changed mind on Liverpool position swap after Euro 2024 call-up

Joe Gomez speaks to Jurgen Klopp during Liverpool training
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Joe Gomez has admitted he is now more open to a change in position, with the Liverpool defender having taken on a number of roles for the club over the past year.

Gomez is currently with England as he prepares for this summer’s Euro 2024, where he could make his first senior appearance at an international tournament. His inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s squad comes after a season in which he made 51 appearances for his club, the most he has ever achieved in a campaign for the Reds.

The 27-year-old has occupied a number of positions during that time, having had stints at right-back, left-back and even defensive midfield, as well as his preferred slot at center-back. That versatility has seemingly worked in his favor, having earned a recall to the England squad earlier this year before being confirmed for the final 26-man squad heading to Germany this summer.

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Speaking to The Anfield Wrap, Gomez reflected on his season, and what he has learned over the past 12 months. “I think this season’s taught me that I just want to enjoy playing football, [I] don’t need to necessarily box myself in,” Gomez said. “Obviously I still feel like I can contribute well at center-half, but I’ve definitely enjoyed my football and for me that comes first.”

Gomez added: “It is what it is. The main thing is just giving it all for the badge. Wherever that is, I’m definitely I think in a phase of my career where I’m more accepting to whatever that may be. I’m not as young and hard-headed about having to play center-half. A lot of it is your mindset and the way you approach the game.

“I think me approaching it with a more open mind and just contributing however possible. The positions have not been bog standard at time and there’s been alterations tactically, but that’s just the way the game’s headed.”

Gomez’s efforts were certainly appreciated by Jurgen Klopp. The former Liverpool boss was effusive with his praise for the defender, and his part in the Reds bouncing back in 2023/24 despite the club suffering from a multitude of injuries. “He is a lifesaver, to be honest, that he was here, that he could play,” Klopp said back in January.

“People forget how important Joey was in the best years we had. I don’t know how many games he played in the year when we became champions and how many games he played when we won the Champions League a lot and rightly so because he’s a top-class player.” says: It’s good to see Gomez seems to be more at ease with his role as something of a utility man for Liverpool. That versatility was certainly needed this season, and it is probably the main reason behind his return to the England set-up.

Hopefully he gets his first run-out at a major international tournament this summer. Given that versatility, it’s more than likely that he will get a chance at some point, especially with doubts over Luke Shaw’s fitness.