Some bad news coming out of the Liverpool and England camps today as defender Joe Gomez has been ruled out of the Reds’ Champions League final clash with Real Madrid, as well as the World Cup in Russia this summer. Gomez underwent surgery after picking up an ankle injury while on Three Lions duty against the Netherlands back in March, and while he did return to action for Liverpool since suffering the injury he took to Twitter to confirm that his season for both club and country is now over after having the procedure. It is a real blow for the 23-year-old former Charlton Athletic star, who would have been hoping to add to his three England caps when Gareth Southgate takes his squad on the plane ahead of their first match against Tunisia on 18th June.
He becomes the second Liverpool player to be ruled out of England’s squad, joining team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the sidelines. Gomez said: “”Gutted to confirm that my season for both club and country is over having undergone successful ankle surgery. Been a tough few weeks trying everything possible to be available on the pitch to help the team. I’m going to do all I can to get back and be in the best possible shape for pre-season. The focus now is to support the team in the two biggest games of the season.”
The two games Gomez is referring to, of course, are Liverpool’s season-ending home match against Brighton with a place in the top four on the line and the biggest match in continental competition when they take on Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid in the final of the Champions League at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev on 26th May. Not content with missing those two games, Gomez now finds himself having to wait another four years for another opportunity to play at a World Cup.
Gomez has had a decent season with Liverpool this year, making 23 appearances (21 of them as a starter) and garnering 40 points on the Euro Fantasy League game from a 7m valuation. His omission perhaps leaves more room for Leicester defender Harry Maguire to snag a place on the plane after a great breakout season, with Gomez having largely been utilised as a central defender during his stint in the white of England.
Gary Cahill and John Stones appear to be the preferred central defensive pairing for Southgate, though, and so perhaps there were plans for Gomez to come in as a potential right-back, especially considering Burnley defender James Tarkowski’s emergence as an option for the centre of defence for England. In that instance the news perhaps opens up scope for another midfielder to move into the squad, with Jack Wilshere or Lewis Cook perhaps rubbing their hands together at the chance of inclusion so soon before the squad is announced.
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