The partnership between Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk has been a pleasant surprise this season. Van Dijk’s quality was there for all to see, but Gomez had spent most of his time on the pitch playing as a right back before injury struck last season and the Liverpool defender was ruled out for months.
But the Englishman has bounced back and then some this season. Jürgen Klopp started the season with Gomez and Van Dijk as his centre-back duo and with Alisson behind them and Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson on the flanks, Liverpool’s defense has been nearly impenetrable.
Now Gomez is in talks with the club over a new contract to reward the player for his contributions on the pitch. Klopp was not willing to discuss any private business at his pre-Cardiff press conference but was full of praise for the young player.
“Joe is a very important part of the squad, so it’s so nice to see,” said Klopp.
“I remember when I came in and everybody told me about him. I knew him, but not really well. And everybody told me about how good he was when he came to Liverpool.
“When I watched the games back from the first few games before I came in, to learn a bit more about the team—he played mostly as a left wing back—I thought it was good but it was not that you could say it would change the football world.
“Then he got the injury unfortunately and since then he had to fight back and it took awhile.
“Now seeing him really fit and full of confidence, I know what they were talking about when they told me how good he was. And much more important, how good he is.
“He has a big future here at Liverpool, no doubt about that.”