Outside of Sadio Mané with Senegal and Dejan Lovren with Croatia, November’s international break is all meaningless friendlies for Liverpool’s contingent. For a few players, though, those meaningless friendlies have a little more meaning.
There’s Alberto Moreno, who could earn his first Spain cap in four years. Meaningless game or not, that’s going to be a big deal for the player. Then there’s Joe Gomez, who has been called up to the senior England team for the first time this week.
“It’s a dream come true, really,” said Gomez. “This is my first call-up and it’s a great opportunity to play with the best players from all around the country and I’m looking forward to it. For me personally I just have to be confident with myself.
“I think it’s a balance of knowing my ability but also trying to learn. I’m aware that it’s a big opportunity to show I can play at this level, especially leading into the World Cup, but I think I’ve got to take it as it comes really and just enjoy my football.”
Few expected Gomez to end up in the World Cup mix when the season started, in part because nobody really expected him to get quite as many minutes at the club level as he has so far as a result of Nathaniel Clyne’s long-term layoff.
That injury, though, opened the door for Gomez, and the future centre half has spent the season sharing minutes at right back with Trent Alexander-Arnold, the two youngsters alternating starts as Jürgen Klopp looks to ease them into starting roles.
He’s had 12 starts in all competitions so far, and 25-30 by the end of the season now wouldn’t surprise anyone. Now, it’s not about waiting for his chance—it’s about taking it, and learning all that he can in the process, both for club and country.
“It’s been good for me to get games this season,” he added. “I’m enjoying playing regular football [and] I’m just looking to try and focus on my role here, whatever that is, and to try and learn from all the coaches and adapt to playing their style.”