Liverpool have already started their summer clearout with Dejan Lovren joining Zenit in Russia and Adam Lallana joining Brighton & Hove Albion. Departures were always going to come before arrivals this summer given the impact of the global health crisis. The Reds are rumoured to be looking for a replacement for Dejan Lovren but if Liverpool can keep Joe Gomez fit then Sepp van den Berg could step up and save the club millions.
Shortly after the end of the season Dejan Lovren joined Zenit Saint Petersburg for a fee of £10.9m.
The Croatian had dropped down the pecking order to fourth choice behind Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
Given that he is a World Cup finalist and on his day a solid Premier League centre half it made sense for Lovren to leave in search of first team football.
The defender’s departure has left the club without a fourth choice centre half, a gap that needs filling.
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How important was 4th choice?
Last season Lovren clocked 777 minutes in the Premier League, playing 10 times in the competition.
A lot of these minutes were due to injuries to Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, as well as fixture congestion during December.
This means that if the club can keep Joe Gomez consistently fit then the role of the fourth choice centre back becomes less important, they won’t be required in the league as often.
Joe Gomez opens door for Sepp van den Berg
Joe Gomez is currently the first choice partner for Virgil van Dijk and with just cause, at just 23-years-old he is already one of the most talented defenders in world football.
The Englishman has had his injury troubles at the start of his career but he seems to be over the worst of it now.
If the club can keep Joe Gomez fit we won’t have to rely on the fourth choice centre back stepping up in important games when both Gomez and Matip are out of action.
Not requiring the fourth choice as often would leave the door open for a youth player to fill in in cup fixtures when required, this is to say that Joe Gomez maintaining his fitness could afford some first team opportunities for Sepp van den Berg.
These opportunities would be cameos at the end of already won games and starting berths in the cups; if the Reds were to sign a young fourth choice centre back then the Dutchman’s progress could be impeded.