Liverpool have big decisions to make as defensive duo garner interest from rival clubs

Graeme looks at the Reds' defensive options and what it may mean for the future of Joe Gomez and Kostas Tsimikas, amongst others...
Liverpool have big decisions to make as defensive duo garner interest from rival clubs

Liverpool have one of the best defences in Europe, the world – no getting away from it.

Some might say that is a bit bleeding obvious when they have Virgil van Dijk – widely considered the best central defender in world football - at the heart of the their defence.

Add to the brilliant Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson and already it is easy to see how things have got to this point.

At full-back, Jurgen Klopp has a pair that would rival any in world football in the shape of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

And there you have it, there are problems at Anfield in defence… they are in fact too good, and that means you can’t keep everyone happy.

The first example of this is Joe Gomez. I have been reporting on Gomez’s Liverpool future for nearly two-years. Some may remember that it took a good couple of years for him to convince Klopp of his abilities.

Joe Gomez

Gomez became a regular in 2017 but then going into the 2018/19 campaign and things faltered as Dejan Lovren was ahead of him in the pecking order and Gomez queried his future at that point.

But the following year and Gomez was again back in favour, and was exceptional as he played a major role in Liverpool first ever Premier League title.

A knee tendon injury, ironically suffered whilst on England duty, curtailed his season last year and since then, Gomez has not had a look in.

The arrival of Ibrahima Konate means Gomez is now fourth choice, and I am told that Gomez is now hugely concerned about his future.

I believe that Klopp does not want to lose Gomez, but he just can’t find room for him in his plans – indeed the Carabao Cup final was a prime example as the former Charlton man could not even make the bench for Liverpool.

I understand that Gomez is hugely worried about his England chances, as Gareth Southgate is a huge fan and would like to take him to Qatar later this year – but he can’t pick him if he isn’t playing.

Now Liverpool and Klopp have a huge decision to make, and there are no shortage of clubs looking to land the 24-year-old. I am told Tottenham, Newcastle, West Ham, soon to be promoted Fulham, and Stanley Park neighbours Everton would all happily take Gomez.

The issue for Gomez is that he is contracted to Liverpool until 2024, so the club don’t have to sell him – but will Klopp let him leave? That is the major question for the Anfield boss.

They might be thinking Gomez is needed to replace Joel Matip at some point, but he is only 30 and has been brilliant this season – so that would very much be in the long-term, and as mentioned, Gomez is thinking about his short-term future.

Some may think that Nathaniel Phillips may be an option, and his form has been decent on-loan at Bournemouth – so his progression might actually hold the key to Gomez as unlike the England international, Phillips at this point would surely be happy to be fourth choice at Anfield.

But the Gomez question isn’t the only one that Klopp needs to answer about his defence, as there is also interest in a few more of his defenders.

Neco Williams – a player causing waves at Fulham. Williams joined Fulham on-loan in January, which some people missed given all the talk around Fabio Carvalho – a player we will return to in another column.

But on Williams, I am told that Fulham have already made it clear to Liverpool that they want the Welsh ace back with them next season such has been his impact since arriving.

Whilst nothing is agreed, I understand that there is a very good chance that Williams is at Craven Cottage next season – most likely on-loan.

And that isn’t where things end – there is also the case of Greek left-back Kostas Tsimikas.

Tsimikas has found his playing time limited, which is little surprise given Robertson’s form and status.

Kostas Tsimikas

But we can reveal that there is interest emerging in the former Olympiakos man, who has started seven Premier League games this term – and has played well, very well.

Now Liverpool have some thinking to do and decisions to make on Tsimikas, as we understand there is some major interest in the player.

Tsimikas – who when he arrived at Anfield was described to me as ‘possibly the Greatest Greek player’ ever – has shown enough this season to not just Liverpool to know they were spot in with their original assessment of the player, but to other teams as well.

It is understood a handful of clubs are keeping close tabs on Tsimikas and his situation.

As it stands there is no suggestion that he is anything but settled at Anfield – although for any good player, you have to wonder how long that can last for, especially if interest intensifies.

So keep an eye on Liverpool’s defence, there might be changes coming!

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