Only five players have played for both Everton and Liverpool in the Premier League, although, no one in the last decade has made the controversial decision to sign for either of the rivals after playing for the other previously.
While the rivalry remains as fiery as ever for fans and players, legendary Liverpool trio Robbie Fowler, Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard all grew up as Everton fans – but still all became fan favourites at Anfield.
The latest player linked with making a switch of allegiances on Merseyside is Reds defender Joe Gomez, who has found playing time under Jurgen Klopp in recent seasons hard to come by.
There is believed to be a battle to sign the English centre-back, after Graeme Bailey told Anfield Watch:
“I am told Tottenham, Newcastle, West Ham, soon to be promoted Fulham, and Stanley Park neighbours Everton would all happily take Gomez.”
The 24-year-old is valued at just £22.5m by Transfermarkt, but having become Klopp’s fourth-choice centre-back after the arrival of Ibrahima Konate, and with just two years left on his current contract, it might be even more possible to get him on a cheaper deal.
It is, however, unlikely that Everton will remain a part of the race for his signature, should they be relegated from the top flight – which is now a real possibility.
The transfer fee required to land Gomez could be smaller than the price Everton paid to sign howler Michael Keane, who has once again had a mistake-ridden season at Goodison Park, having arrived from Burnley for £26m five years ago in 2017.
With Everton in financial trouble though, any eight-figure transfers this summer could be difficult to complete, and so not only will they have to secure their Premier League status and persuade the former Charlton youngster of their ambition, but they will also have to find the funds from somewhere to complete the deal.
However, by doing so they’d find an astute defender, one would likely dislodge Keane in the starting XI.
Last season, Gomez ranked in the top 1% among centre-backs in Europe’s top five leagues and continental competitions for ball recoveries per 90 (16.32), passes under pressure per 90 (9.92) and long passes completed per 90 (15.10) – showcasing his immense talent as a ball-playing defender.
With just 14 appearances under his belt so far this campaign, with eight coming from off the bench, it’s no surprise a player of Gomez’ quality is looking for regular game-time, and Everton – despite being arch-rivals with Liverpool, could provide a good home for him to kick-on and revive his career.