According to multiple reports in Scotland today, new Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers wants to bring at least one Liverpool player north of the border next season, and it’s not the one everyone expected. No, rather than diminutive midfielder Joe Allen, the man Rodgers is said to be after is defender Joe Gomez.
Gomez was one of the few bright spots in Rodgers’ final months at Liverpool, impressing early in a defensive fullback role while playing behind a winger tasked with aiding him in his covering duties. Things all came apart somewhat when he was given a more attacking remit and less cover. Still, there were signs of real promise.
Then, injury struck, a torn ACL sidelining Gomez for the remainder of the season. Now he’s back in training and expected to play a squad role at Liverpool next season, but Rodgers is hopeful of convincing Liverpool their best option for his recovery and development is to instead send him to Celtic for the season on loan.
Gomez has begun working on the ball on his own, and is targeting a return to full fitness in time to join the team for pre-season. If he can prove he’s ready for action, there’s a chance he could head into next season as the club’s fourth-choice centre half as well as being an emergency option to fill in at left back in a pinch.
With Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel expected to be on their way out of the club this summer but recent positive developments in the Mamadou Sakho case, a fit Gomez would currently expect to slot in behind Sakho, Dejan Lovren, and the incoming Joel Matip on the centre half depth chart should the club make no further additions.
At left back, he would be behind both Alberto Moreno and whichever new signing the club bring in, likely one of promising young Leicester City man Ben Chilwell or Bundesliga veteran Jonas Hector. Right back Jon Flanagan would also be an option to fill in on the left, limiting Gomez’ potential minutes at that position.
If another centre back signing were to arrive, though, a loan to Celtic could become appealing, and the reports claiming Rodgers’ interest further suggest a six-month loan might be considered by Liverpool—one that would allow the club to more easily reassess things in January should the need arise.