Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool player has developed 'massively' and didn't see it coming

Jurgen Klopp has been caught off guard by Joe Gomez this season. The Liverpool boss feels his player has developed 'massively'.

Jurgen Klopp took the opportunity on Wednesday afternoon to praise Joe Gomez for his performances this season. The Liverpool boss has been caught off guard by the defender this season - he didn't imagine he could be this versatile.

Gomez is naturally a centre-back but found himself as the primary cover at right-back as Conor Bradley picked up an early injury this season. However, injuries to both Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas meant he swiftly became Liverpool's first-choice left-back, too.

Then came a meeting with Southampton in the FA Cup that saw a depleted Liverpool team require Gomez to play as a holding midfielder. It's been a remarkable season for the player, who has become absolutely essential with his versatility.

And Klopp believes it's made him a considerably better player.

"The least games he's played at centre-half, probably, because we've always needed him somewhere else," said Klopp in his press conference on Wednesday. "And I think he's done exceptionally.

"I think it developed his game massively. If you'd asked me before the season what I thought about inverted right or left-back, what do we think about the six, things like that, I don't know if I'd have said 'yeah, of course, he can do that, but that's what opportunity sometimes does for you.

"That you really grow with the challenges you face and that's what Joe definitely did. He's in exceptional shape and long may it continue."

Joe Gomez develops 'massively'

Gomez's versatility was apparent the moment he joined Liverpool - Brendan Rodgers used the teenager as a left-back from the off. This season, though, has been on a whole other level.

The striking thing is just how different the roles have been, with Gomez playing right-back as more of a traditional wide player at times, while also dropping inside like Trent Alexander-Arnold. At left-back he's been an inverted fullback who drops between the lines, while holding midfield is completely unlike any position he's played before.

It's been fantastic and Gomez has gone from feeling like a luxury player who struggled for a place to one of the most important players all season. As Klopp says, long may it continue.

Share This Article