The Chalkboard: Joe Gomez cannot start at right-back in the Merseyside derby


Throughout the season so far, Joe Gomez has emerged as one of Liverpool’s best, and most consistent, performers alongside Virgil van Dijk at centre-back. On a couple of occasions, however, Jurgen Klopp has deployed him at right-back as he opts to rotate his squad, where the Englishman looks nowhere near as accomplished.

What’s the issue with Gomez at right-back? 

Whilst there is not too much wrong with the 21-year-old at right-back, he is far better in the centre of defence, and as this could be a game of very slim margins he must be played in his best position.

As witnessed in the build-up to Neymar’s goal at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, PSG’s second and ultimately winning goal, the former Charlton man was nowhere to be seen as Kylian Mbappe rampaged down the left wing.

The opener, scored by Juan Bernat, also came from the left-hand side, an area than was being patrolled, or was meant to be at least, by Gomez.

What could go wrong if he plays there against Everton? 

Whilst the Toffees’ summer signing Bernard is no Neymar or Mbappe, he is a seriously skilled dribbler, with his 5′ 5″ frame giving him a low centre of gravity to tie defenders in knots more often than not.

Bernard in action for Everton

The England international is more comfortable in the centre of defence dealing with attackers alongside van Dijk. Out on the right, he does tend to appear lost and isolated, whilst his physique is better suited to a centre-half rather than a full-back.

As aforementioned, the game at Anfield may be one of fine margins. It would be foolish of Klopp to disrupt what has been one of the best defensive partnerships in England this season once again, especially against a frontline consisting of Bernard and the in-form duo of Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

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