In today’s transfer-obsessed world of football, five years is a very long time to be with a single club. And this month, the still young defender Joe Gomez celebrates his fifth year in Merseyside.
Gomez came to Liverpool as a promising 18-year-old from Charlton Athletic. Brendan Rodgers started by successfully deploying him as a left back. Then Rodgers was fired. Then Gomez suffered a terrible ACL injury before he could play a single game for Jurgen Klopp.
It was his most significant injury, but unfortunately it wouldn’t be his last (hat-tip to Burnley and Sean Dyche’s definition of a “fantastic tackle”). However, between injuries Gomez has been incredibly impressive for the Reds. The European, World, and soon-to-be English Champion hopes that this has just been the start of his journey with Liverpool.
“Hopefully it is just the start of the journey; five years is a pretty decent length of time, but I hope it is just sort of the opening chapters of what can be many more years here,” Jo Go told the club’s official website.
“It has definitely been special times and I have definitely grown a lot here. I’ve done most of my growing up as an adult, coming here at 18. I’ve learned so much about the club and about the city. It’s been a pleasure.”
It has also been a pleasure for the fans. Because when Gomez is healthy and playing alongside Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool are generally keeping clean sheets and winning matches.
And in winning matches and shiny things, Gomez has realized the size of this club.
“I’ve said it a few times but I don’t think I realized the stature of the club when I was signing.
“To be a part of some of the memories that have been created here already over the past five years and just being a part of the city and the club is special. It’s become home, my son was born here and I am getting to raise a family.
“To be a part of such a special club, for me the best in the world in the sense of the community, the fanbase – for that, I’ve got to give thanks.”
It’s a special club. And Gomez is undoubtedly a special player. How special? Time will tell. But if his next 5 years resemble his first 5 years (with far fewer long-term injuries, Fowler-willing), he’ll go down as a Liverpool legend.