By Martin Graham | 12th Sep 2022
Liverpool defender Joe Gomez is at risk of losing his spot in the starting lineup against Ajax after a poor showing in his side’s 4-1 defeat to Napoli last week. Uncharacteristically, the Reds had a sloppy performance, with the duo of Virgil van Dijk and Gomez having a day to forget.
With Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate stepping up their return to fitness following injuries, Gomez has been singled out and has been told he faces time out of the starting lineup.
Gomez could lose Liverpool starting lineup, pundits claim
Former Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson believes that at one point, Gomez had a good chance of making the England World Cup squad under Gareth Southgate, but now is facing being dropped by Klopp.
“Gomez was really poor against Napoli,” Robinson told Football Insider.
“It is a huge season for him this year. I questioned why he signed the new contract given that he did not play so many games last season. He has been given an opportunity because of injuries and he has not taken it.
“He is a quality player and alongside [Virgil] van Dijk I thought he would thrive. I thought they’d reignite their partnership. I even thought Gomez might be able to sneak into the World Cup squad. But with Matip back fit he would struggle to get back into the side. He has not taken his opportunity. I think Klopp will want the stability of Matip and Van Dijk at the back.”
Matip could now replace Gomez
Gomez was taken off for Matip in the second half of Liverpool’s defeat to Napoli and the Cameroonian also came on in the stalemate at Goodison Park against Everton as he continues to work his way to full fitness.
Elsewhere, Konate missed the Champions League game as he is currently on the sidelines due yo a knee-injury he picked up in pre-season. However, there are positive hopes he could be available after the international break this month.
Former Reds midfielder Danny Murphy suggested that a tweak in tactics could help get the best out of Gomez. “Jurgen Klopp has talked about reinventing the team, which usually means a tactical switch or changing personnel,” Murphy wrote in the Daily Mail.
“Maybe he’ll think about switching Joe Gomez to right-back for a couple of games as he’s a natural one-on-one defender.”
Liverpool’s struggles continue
After a mixed run of results in pre-season, last midweek’s defeat to Napoli means that Liverpool are now without a win in five of their eight games so far in 2022/23 across all competitions. They will hope the story changes when they welcome Wolves to Anfield at the weekend.
Jurgen Klopp admitted his side need to reinvent themselves and nothing but a victory against Ajax could set the alarm bells on red alert at Anfield.