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‘I was close’… 26-year-old says he’s almost left Liverpool twice, he’s admitted it to Virgil van Dijk



As Liverpool go from strength to strength this season, a number of heroes have emerged.

Some of those – such as the reborn Virgil van Dijk or the relentlessly consistent Alisson Becker – are not a surprise. Liverpool do boast some superstars in their team after all.

But you don’t win trophies with a bunch of superstars. And throughout the year, other players have stepped up and truly shown their worth. One of those is Joe Gomez, who has been exceptional in a variety of different positions.

It has been a pleasing rejuvenation for Gomez, who had a tough season in 2022/23. There were even calls for the 26-year-old to be sold over the summer. And as Gomez told the We Are Liverpool podcast today, that perhaps wasn’t the first time he’d been edged towards the exit door at Anfield.

“In eight or nine years it was never going to be plain sailing the whole time,” admitted the defender. “I have had periods where it was like, is it time? I was close to going on loan a couple of times. I told Virg if you’d have come in the summer [of 2017] I’d have been off, the ship would have sailed and I probably would have gone on loan.

“But stuff like that happens for a reason and for me to come back from my injury, to feel better physically and mentally, to put the work in and have the guidance to be a better athlete on paper, to get that reassurance and to play and earn another [contract], it was an important moment for me.”

Gomez opens up on near-misses

This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to hear for Liverpool supporters. Gomez has opened up on something similar in the past.

He also hasn’t always been first-choice throughout his Reds career. Having fallen down the pecking order a couple of times, it’s only normal that he might have looked elsewhere.

Crucially though, Gomez has never made that final step out of the door. Still only 26, there would have been no shortage of takers at any point since his arrival in 2015.

But for whatever reason, that move never materialised.

And this season, Liverpool fans will have been counting their blessings that it never did. Gomez has been absolutely vital right from the beginning of the season.

Currently the starting choice at left-back, Joe has also filled in at right-back as well as his natural central position.

Wherever he’s been, the England international has impressed. Carry it on, and there’ll be no calls at all for him to be on his way over the summer.

There have been rumours that Tottenham Hotspur were interested in taking him back to London. However, given his revamped importance to the side, that now looks like a complete non-starter.

You really have to hand it to Joe. Not too many players come back from looking dead and buried at Liverpool. He got his head down and worked hard, and it’s now really paying off. The past is the past, but Gomez is going nowhere now.

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