Last season was a difficult one to be a Liverpool centre half, with Virgil van Dijk, Joël Matip, and Joe Gomez all suffering season ending injuries. All three, though, are fit and began pre-season preparations in Austria on Monday.
“It’s nice to be back among the boys,” was Gomez’ response following his first day back training with his teammates. “It’s been a long time, so I’m relishing it. To do team training today after such a long time means a lot.
“There are times at when it feels daunting and you think, ‘How am I going to get back to that level?’ but we have such good staff here and you get to a certain point and then it’s just a buzz to get back to doing what you do.”
It also has Gomez and his fellow returning centre halves perhaps feeling a little more eager about putting in the hard pre-season running than they might have been in past years when coming back from their off-season breaks.
“No-one comes into pre-season buzzing to run, but for us it has that little edge to it,” he said of himself and fellow returnees Van Dijk and Matip. “I don’t know how long it’ll last, [but] we’re buzzing to be out here on the grass.
“Those hours that were spent in the gym that I endured, I was just thinking about this moment. Each moment, I am happy to run and enjoy it.”