Jurgen Klopp feels that Liverpool defender Joe Gomez is one of England’s best players at centre-back.
That’s according to The Mirror, who report that Klopp is a ‘big fan’ of his player, and is hoping to tie him down to a new contract as a top priority.
It’s claimed that there is interest in Gomez from Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard. But there have reportedly been no formal talks, and Liverpool would be ‘unlikely’ to sanction a deal to sell the 25-year-old.
Instead, sporting director Julian Ward, as well as Klopp, is said to be ‘keen’ to extend Gomez’s terms at Anfield.
A strange priority for Liverpool
Gomez’s situation at Liverpool is a curious one. Although it does seem like there’s a genuine drive to sort a new deal for him, he arguably doesn’t merit one.
The regard in which he is held by Klopp and the coaching team, as well as his teammates, is clear. However, this isn’t at all reflected in the amount of game-time afforded to him.
Gomez started just four Premier League games last season as Liverpool came within a whisker of the title. That was actually less than the six starts he posted during 2020/21, despite missing most of the season through injury.
Liverpool’s number 12 still has two years remaining on his deal, too. It would seem strange to make negotiating a new contract for a player who doesn’t play and has two years still to go on his deal a priority.
It’s always good to get contracts sorted sooner rather than later of course, as Liverpool have found out in recent years. But The Reds still operate on a largely ‘self sustaining’ model where they generate funds before spending them.
In that respect, now would seem like the perfect time to sell Gomez. Unless Klopp is planning on using him a whole lot more next season, it feels unlikely that the player would want to sign a new contract, and his value will only decrease.
Klopp is right that Gomez is one of England’s best defenders. In fact, he might well be the best. But if he isn’t playing, it makes sense to let him move on, while Liverpool explore other options.