A Jurgen Klopp decision in the heart of the Liverpool defence has prompted one pundit to insist a January exit makes all the sense in the world.
One year ago, Liverpool were in the midst of a debilitating injury crisis at centre-half. Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip were all long-term absentees through injury. That prompted the January arrivals of Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies as the Reds muddled through to the season’s end with a makeshift backline.
Fast forward to the present day and Liverpool’s centre-back corps is the healthiest component of Klopp’s squad.
Aided by the summer addition of Ibrahima Konate, Klopp now has an embarrassment of riches in the position.
Inevitably, someone’s game-time must be cut, and thus far this season the odd man out has been Joe Gomez.
The 24-year-old has amassed a paltry 12 minutes of league action this term. That has led to the Daily Express to declare Konate and Joel Matip to both be ahead of Gomez in the pecking order in Klopp’s eyes, with Van Dijk the undisputed No1 choice.
In recent weeks, speculation has ramped up Gomez could be moved on in January. Aston Villa have been linked, while the Express state Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is a ‘big fan’ from his time at Everton.
However, Klopp moved to quash any murmurings of unrest with Gomez. Furthermore, he recently insisted no loan deals would be sanctioned in January.
Nonetheless, speaking to Football Insider, pundit Frank McAvennie has claimed a Gomez exit in fact makes perfect sense.
Aston Villa targeting Liverpool's Gomez
Gerrard is prepared to bring Gomez to Villa Park to revive his career.
McAvennie touted the possibility of a loan exit to Villa with an option to buy included. That would give Gomez the regular game-time he craves and could ultimately be to Liverpool’s benefit if he got back to his best at Villa Park.
McAvennie said: “Would he leave Liverpool for Villa? He would need convincing. If anyone can do that, Gerrard can. I’m sure he still has links [to Liverpool] with Villa.
“Gomez is a quality player and good enough to be playing for Liverpool, but he’s had to take a back seat this season.
“He’s probably upset by that. Maybe he wants game time. If he does, maybe a loan deal could happen.
“A loan with the option to buy makes sense. He could go out and prove to Liverpool why he should be starting. But then he also has the chance to join Villa if it goes well. For me, that makes more sense.”
Alisson wowed by “really special” Liverpool starlet
Meanwhile, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has labelled young Reds stopper Marcelo Pitaluga “really special” as he continues his development.
Alisson told Liverpool’s official website of his fellow Brazilian: “Yeah, Marcelo is really talented. I saw him a few times back in Brazil, but I could know more about him here as a goalie and as a person as well.
“He is a really special boy, he is really excited about having the opportunity to play for Liverpool.
“Now he has settled in and is doing really well in training. He is a boy who trains really hard and is really dedicated for what he is doing. And someone who likes to learn as well.
“So it is really good to work together with him, not only for being Brazilian but for being a really good talent and such a good person.”
Liverpool’s goalkeeping coaching ranks are also in a strong place. John Achterberg is the club’s senior coach, but the Reds brought in former Brazil man Claudio Taffarel earlier this year.
Liverpool hope the 55-year-old will help improve all their goalkeepers, as Alisson continues to impress with nine Premier League clean sheets this season.