Joe Gomez 'trying to embrace' Jurgen Klopp's plan for him

Joe Gomez says he's 'trying to embrace' Jurgen Klopp's plan for him at Liverpool. The defender feels age plays a part.

Joe Gomez still believes he's a centre-back - but he's getting used to Jurgen Klopp's plan for him. Gomez has barely played in his natural position this season, instead operating as a more versatile defender.

Typically, that means right-back. Liverpool lack senior cover for Trent Alexander-Arnold, meaning Gomez is the best option there. That's not as routine as it sounds, however, as the Reds switched up the Scouser's role over the course of last season.

Now the right-back is expected to drift into midfield as more of a holding player when in possession. Gomez has had to adapt to that himself, though with the understanding that he'll play it very differently from Alexander-Arnold.

But the last few games have seen another change. Gomez started at left-back against Luton Town with Andy Robertson out and Kostas Tsimikas rested. He then moved there again at half-time in Toulouse after Tsimikas was hooked at half time.

It's a role he's played before - Brendan Rodgers briefly used him there when Gomez first joined the club in 2015. Now he's there again and it takes further time away from his centre-back role.

But Gomez says he's learning to embrace being a versatile defender first and foremost. That's not something he's always been able to do.

"I mean I'm probably getting to an age now where I'm not resisting as much," he told Sky Sports.

"I think trying to embrace whatever position I play is probably more important for me. If I was to write on paper where I play, I would probably still write centre-back. But with time, you grow in appreciation for the game and just learning it.

"Trying to be dynamic and enjoy that position is something I enjoy as well. It brings different challenges and I enjoy that test. I think when I was younger I probably did resist it more and have a different outlook towards it when I played there. As I've got older it's embracing it and appreciating the challenge."

Being a versatile player is a thankless job in a lot of ways. You're compared to players who get to spend their entire season in a role, while you've got to learn to be adequate at several.

But it's a key role. James Milner was virtually invaluable to Liverpool at his best, such was his ability to cover just about everywhere on the pitch.

Gomez can't quite shift about to that level but he's proving to be key this season as Klopp asks him to cover all over defence. If he does embrace that role and perfects it, he'll have a place in the squad for a long time to come.

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