Liverpool defender Joe Gomez is set to feature prominently in pre-season for the Reds, following eight months out through injury.
Gomez made an impressive start to life at Anfield at the start of last season, shining at left-back under Brendan Rodgers and playing with quality and maturity beyond his years.
The 19-year-old suffered cruciate ligament damage while with England under-21s just before Jurgen Klopp‘s arrival in October, though, and is yet to feature under the German.
The Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce says Gomez has been “working tirelessly with the club’s medical and sports science staff”, in order to get back to full fitness, with most of the Liverpool squad still either on international duty or on holiday.
Staff at Melwood are hugely impressed with the youngster’s work ethic and desire to return to the fold as soon as possible.
The club have a special fitness programme for Gomez, in order for him not to be rushed back too soon, but he is expected to return to action for a chunk of pre-season in July.
There will be times when he takes part in training with the rest of the squad, and other occasions when he does individual sessions.
The England U21 international will fly out for the tour of America and he will hopefully be in good shape come the start of the new Premier League season.
With so many internationals not available the domestic pre-season games in early July due to their international commitments, Gomez will see plenty of playing opportunity.
It will be intriguing to see how Klopp uses him, with centre-back his preferred position, and the role Liverpool saw him playing in when he was signed from Charlton Athletic for £3.5 million a year ago.
It is clear that the teenager has enormous potential and given Klopp’s preference for giving young players a chance, don’t be shocked to see him feature heavily next season.
Gomez, along with fellow long-term injury absentee Danny Ings, could feel like a new signing for the Reds in 2016/17.
LFC Pre-Season Fixtures:
- July 8 – Tranmere Rovers (a) 7pm BST
- July 13 – Fleetwood Town (a) 7pm BST
- July 17 – Wigan Athletic (a) 4pm BST
- July 20 – Huddersfield Town (a) 7.45pm BST
- July 27 – Chelsea (Rose Bowl; Pasadena) 8:30pm PST (4.30am BST, July 28)
- July 30 – AC Milan (Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara) 7pm PST (3am BST, July 31)
- Aug 1 – Roma (Busch Stadium; St. Louis) 7.30pm CT (1.30am BST, Aug 2)
- August 6 – Barcelona (Wembley) 5pm BST