Liverpool are reportedly offering Joel Matip a new contract, putting their hope in Joe Gomez.
Goal say that Matip, along with James Milner and Divock Origi, have earned new contracts at the club. The contract offer to Matip, in particular, stands out as a fine reflection on another player: Gomez.
Liverpool have two other centre-backs, along with Matip and Gomez, in Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren.
Gomez, at 22 years old, is unique in this group as the only player under 27. Both Matip and Van Dijk are that age, while Lovren is 29.
Any contract for Matip will tie him down for the rest of his prime, leaving him at around 30 when it expires. The same is true of Lovren. The Croatian signed a deal in 2017 that won’t expire until 2021, with a possible extra year.
Van Dijk only arrived in 2018 and still has four years to run on his deal, as reported by the Echo. It means he will be into his thirties, too, when it expires.
And so, with their centre-back options tied down, you shouldn’t expect any major signings in the position for a couple of years. And that positions Gomez as the great hope.
He’ll be around 25 years old when the others have their futures questioned once again. Gomez (a £3.5m signing from Charlton) will be entering his prime and, hopefully, able to take over the reins from Van Dijk and co.
His injury record asks questions, of course. That’s the real stumbling block and something that Liverpool have to consider over the next few years.
But should everything go to plan, he’s the defender the club will build around when the next wave of signings arrive.