465 days. Apparently that’s the exact amount of time Joe Gomez spent away from the first team after suffering a knee injury last season shortly after Jürgen Klopp took control, cutting a bright season unfortunately short. From there it’s only been a matter of when, rather than if, the young defender would come back. With the lack of European matches on the schedule, cup matches would probably the best bet, and none more fitting than Sunday’s match against visiting Plymouth Argyle.
"It meant a lot to me after being out for such a long time, it's something I dreamt of," he told the club website. "Coming back out to that crowd at Anfield was something in the back of my mind the whole time. It was important for me to get back to this point but now [I need to] keep pushing on and try to get back playing and [be] regularly involved.”
While Gomez did prepare for his return with various matches with the U23s, it’s clear he’s eager to make the most of his return to the starting XI and hopeful to carve out a permanent spot for himself. The match against Plymouth may not have turned out the way anyone had wanted, and Gomez spoke candidly about how he felt regarding it.
“I think it was a difficult one. We defended well, kept solid at the back and played as a team but, obviously, it was a young side for us and we weren't able to break them down," he explained. "Everyone will go again and we keep moving forward. It's hard because teams are going to come here and try to sit off and try to defend.
"It's hard for us to break them down and it's harder when you don't do it early doors and get the goal early on.”
Right now, though, his focus is on the future and working towards another chance when the Reds travel to Devon for the replay.
"Hopefully. Everyone's eager and hungry to play - that's one of the positives of having a young team,” he continued. “I think everyone will learn from this game and we hope we'll be able to come back in and try to get the result."