Joe Gomez might have been lucky not to be sent off when he caught Christian Atsu with a high boot as Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon.
It was perhaps the sort of rash challenge you expect to see, however, from a player desperate to impress his manager on the touchline. Gomez made just fourth Premier League start of the season at St James’ Park but the praise that followed his outstanding performance in last month’s 4-0 hammering of Arsenal has dissipated somewhat.
Gomez struggled throughout in the 2-2 Champions League draw with Sevilla and picked up a needless second yellow late on before playing the full 90 in Liverpool’s EFL Cup defeat to Leicester City.
The 20-year-old, who only recently returned after over a year on the sidelines with a cruciate ligament injury, needs a run of games to get back to his best. But the presence of Trent Alexander-Arnold, and the eventual return of Nathanial Clyne, means he might have to get used to the odd sporadic outing.
Therefore, you wonder whether a reunion with Brendan Rodgers at Celtic would have been more beneficial to the youngster’s development. The Sun claimed that the Scottish champions were interested in the summer with a season-long loan the most likely result.
And, with Celtic suffering from something of an injury-crisis at centre-half in the opening weeks of the season, Gomez could have been given the opportunity to prove himself in his favoured position under a manager who knows and trusts in his potential, having thrown him into the Liverpool first-team at the age of just 18.
Instead, Gomez may be forced to share duties with Alexander-Arnold and Clyne for months to come.