It’s a sad end to Joe Gomez’s season as the right back has undergone surgery to correct a long standing ankle problem.
In an Instagram post, Gomez said:
“Gutted to confirm that my season for both club and country is over having undergone successful ankle surgery…Been a tough few weeks trying everything possible to be available on the pitch to help the team. I’m going to do all I can to get back and be in the best possible shape for pre season. The focus now is to support the team in the two biggest games of the season! Thank you for all the support over the course of the season.”
His season is over which means he will miss out on a place for the matchday squad for the Champions League final in Kiev and is also likely to be unavailable for the World Cup. Gareth Southgate is a known fan of the 20 year old right back, who can also slot in at centre half, and it will be a blow to the England manager that one of his wider squad will be unavailable.
It’s a further blow for the England manager as he, and the Reds, have also lost Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to a serious knee injury which will rule him out for the foreseeable future.
There’s a certain irony there that Gomez was injured on international duty during the much disliked March friendlies. He damaged his ankle joint in the tenth minute of the friendly with the Netherlands and was absent for a month before returning to the fold for the West Brom and Stoke league matches.
I thought that Gomez was poor in both games, particularly the Stoke match when he seemed to misplace every pass, and I put it down to the rustiness of being out for a month. However, it seems that he was played through the pain barrier in order to allow Jurgen Klopp to rotate his options ahead of the Champions League semi-final legs with Roma. Can Liverpool go all the way? Liverpool to win the Champions League is currently 2/1 with RedsBet.
If that’s the case, both the club and Gomez are now paying a high price. In a squad already creaking because of shortages, we’re now another man down. Due to Nathaniel Clyne’s recent return to the first team squad, we probably have adequate cover. But Clyne won’t be back to approaching full fitness until next season at the earliest. Strangely enough, he might be best placed to capitalise on Gomez’ absence for both club and country.
And of course it is a personal setback for the young player who has had such a good season. Whilst not perfect, he has made the right back spot his own for long chunks of the season. He has made big strides forward with his attacking play and his reading of the game has improved significantly. He does make defensive mistakes and his ball watching problem needs to be coached out of his game this summer.
But we’re a stronger squad for having him in it and it’s a shame for the player in particular that his season has been brought to a premature end. It’s also putting our threadbare squad into a perilous situation. We need to navigate the Brighton game without further injuries being picked up or we are at severe risk of an injury crisis ahead of the showdown with Real Madrid in Kiev. Over 4.5 goals in the Champions League final is currently at 27/10 with RedsBet.