While linked with a loan move away, Joe Gomez admits he would love to feature regularly for Liverpool next season and his main focus is on enjoying a solid pre-season.
Gomez’s Reds career has been one of huge frustration to date, with injuries curtailing the progress of one of England’s brightest young players.
Having impressed as a left-back during his early months on Merseyside in 2015, a cruciate ligament ended his season on the eve of Jurgen Klopp‘s arrival.
Gomez didn’t return to action until January this year, when he started the FA Cup third round clash at home to Plymouth Argyle. He has only made 10 Liverpool appearances in two seasons.
Despite some reports linking the 20-year-old with a loan move next season, potentially to Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle, he says his focus is solely on pre-season.
“Ideally I’d hope to get some more minutes and so on [next season], but at the moment I’ve just got to focus on going into pre-season and getting the best start I can,” Gomez told Liverpoolfc.com.
“We’ve got the tour and things, so I’ve got to aim to get off to a good start and then get some minutes as the season progresses.
“It was kind of disappointing for me last pre-season because I’d had the aim to make it on time for it because I know how important it is to get a good start in it.
“It’ll be nice to have a fresh start this pre-season and put the past behind me.”
Klopp is in a tricky situation with Gomez, because it is difficult to see him being a regular any time soon.
With Virgil van Dijk or another top centre-back set to arrive this summer, and Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan also battling for places, chances may be few and far between.
Klopp is thought to be a huge admirer of Gomez, however, and if he does decide to send him off on loan, it will be a decision that has not been taken lightly.
The England U21 international has great potential and is someone Liverpool must stay patient with, as he continues his rehabilitation.