Klopp tipped to rekindle key pairing and axe struggling star who is making a mockery of a recent Liverpool decision

·3-min read
Liverpool centre-halves Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez Credit: PA Images
Liverpool centre-halves Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez Credit: PA Images

Joe Gomez is raising serious questions about a recent Liverpool decision and one pundit has predicted Jurgen Klopp to shuffle his deck at the back.

Liverpool have started the season in dismal fashion, winning just two of their opening seven matches across all competitions. A Premier League record-equalling 9-0 win over Bournemouth already looks a bizarre outlier. Indeed, their only other victory came via an injury time winner against Newcastle.

Any hope that their domestic woes would not bleed into Europe were quickly dashed last week.

Liverpool were cut to pieces by a new-look Napoli side who could’ve been six goals up at half time.

The lead was only three thanks to a penalty save, the woodwork and a goal-line clearance by Virgil van Dijk. However, the resulting 4-1 defeat prompted talk of a new era by Klopp in the fallout.

One player whose struggles were laid bare for all to see in Naples was Joe Gomez.

The 25-year-old has featured heavily this season due to injuries sustained by Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip.

Gomez actually produced his finest display in recent memory against Everton nine days ago. That made his dismal display in which he was responsible for all three first half goals against Napoli all the more surprising.

Now, ahead of Liverpool’s second Group Stage clash with Ajax on Tuesday, pundit Paul Robinson has tipped Klopp to axe Gomez.

Gomez form puts new contract in spotlight

The ex-England goalkeeper expects Klopp to rekindle the Van Dijk-Matip partnership that served Liverpool so well in the league last year.

Robinson also called into question Liverpool’s decision to offer Gomez a new contract over the summer. He committed his future at Anfield until 2027 on June 30.

“Gomez was really poor against Napoli,” Robinson told Football Insider.

“It is a huge season for him this year. I questioned why he signed the new contract given that he did not play so many games last season.

“He has been given an opportunity because of injuries and he has not taken it.

“He is a quality player and alongside [Virgil] van Dijk I thought he would thrive. I thought they’d reignite their partnership. I even thought Gomez might be able to sneak into the World Cup squad.

“But with Matip back fit he would struggle to get back into the side. He has not taken his opportunity.

“I think Klopp will want the stability of Matip and Van Dijk at the back.”

Joe Gomez down but not out

Common sense would dictate Matip is recalled against Ajax. If next weekend’s Premier League fixture against Chelsea goes ahead, Matip will start that too.

Konate is expected to return from a knee injury “in and around” the international break (beginning on September 18) according to Klopp.

He will also overtake Gomez in the pecking order, though that doesn’t mean he’ll be cast aside entirely.

Indeed, this season has churned up an extremely congested fixture list due to the mid-season World Cup break.

Liverpool will play twice a week virtually every week of the season pending their advancement in the cup competitions. It stands to reason Gomez will be utilised heavily in the League Cup and FA Cup.

What’s more, last season aside, Matip has become frustratingly well accustomed with the Anfield treatment room. If he succumbs to injury once again, Gomez will be in the mix for league starts when Klopp rotates Van Dijk or Konate.

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