Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with a surprise move for Joe Gomez ahead of the summer transfer window…
According to journalist Graeme Bailey, writing for Anfield Watch, Spurs are among the teams monitoring the Englishman’s situation at Liverpool as he has slipped down the pecking order under Jurgen Klopp following the arrival of Ibrahima Konate.
The Lilywhites, Merseyside rivals Everton, Saudi-backed Newcastle United, West Ham United and soon-to-be promoted Fulham are said to all be interested.
However, the problem lies in the fact that he’s under contract at Anfield until the summer of 2024 and the decision would come down to the manager, who could see him a long-term successor to Joel Matip, 30.
Whilst it is true that Gomez has struggled for game time since returning from a long-term injury last season. Across four competitions this term, the 24-year-old has only managed a total of 620 minutes across 14 appearances, in which six have been starts – half coming in the Carabao Cup alone.
That shouldn’t detract from his quality as the likes of Matip and Virgil van Dijk have just been too good to drop, especially this season. Had he been fit when the Dutchman suffered his ACL injury, then there’s a high chance it would’ve been Gomez starting week-in, week-out.
Gomez’s last consistent run in the side saw him play a major role in clinching the Premier League title in 2019. He averaged a 6.92 rating by SofaScore as he kept 12 clean sheets in 22 starts, on top of completing 88% of his passes.
He can also offer plenty of versatility, being able to also play at right-back, even if his strongest position is through the middle.
“Joe jumped between right-back and centre-half, which is not perfect when you have no rhythm. If you are in a good moment it’s no problem, but in that moment Joe had no real rhythm and that’s why he struggled a little bit,” Klopp explained to Liverpool’s official website.
“But since he is playing as a centre-half again – his natural position – together with Virg there is exceptional. He is a sensational footballer, which is good.”
Klopp also went on to wax lyrical about his “outstanding” speed, another positive attribute to have as a defender.
There could be some similarities drawn to that of Jan Vertonghen, who in his early days at Spurs was just as efficient at left-back as he was in the middle.
You could argue that the Belgian has not been replaced since his free transfer to Benfica in the summer and with defensive frailties still evident under Antonio Conte, a move for Gomez could make sense.
After all, the 24-year-old has plenty of Premier League and European experience under his belt and, combined with his age and versatility, that makes him an intriguing target indeed.
Spurs sporting director Fabio Paratici could well land a new Vertonghen-like animal for Conte’s backline with a surprise move for the Liverpool outcast.