Joe Gomez’s desire to impress Jurgen Klopp and carve out a career at Liverpool has been given as reasons for his decision to snub England Under-21 duty this summer.
The former Charlton defender had returned to the Young Lions squad during the March international break, starting in the 4-0 victory over Denmark U21s in Randers.
The appearance marked the end of a nightmare injury run for the youngster, who suffered a serious ACL injury in October of 2015 while on England duty, just days after Klopp’s appointment at Anfield.
The player has struggled to shake off a series of niggling injuries since and despite having the chance to join up with Aidy Boothroyd’s squad in Poland this summer, Gomez instead opted to Melwood to work on his fitness.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Gomez opted out of contention after a “long conversation” with Boothroyd about the importance of recapturing his fitness.
The Reds star is facing a defining season in his career, and with the likes of Huddersfield, Newcastle, Brighton and Bournemouth all touted as possible destinations, Gomez is keen to catch Klopp’s eye by hitting the ground running when pre-season training begins next month.
Speaking earlier in June, the youngster outlined his intention to stay with the Reds and secure regular game time.
“Ideally I’d hope to get some more minutes and so on [next season],” he explained.
“But at the moment I’ve just got to focus on going into pre-season and getting the best start I can.
“We’ve got the tour and things, so I’ve got to aim to get off to a good start and then get some minutes as the season progresses.
“It was kind of disappointing for me last pre-season because I’d had the aim to make it on time for it because I know how important it is to get a good start in it.
“It’ll be nice to have a fresh start this pre-season and put the past behind me.”