Alex McLeish insists Joe Gomez will succeed under Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa, as he urged the defender to quit Liverpool in search of regular game time.
Joe Gomez has gone from being a regular starter to fourth in the pecking order behind Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and summer arrival Ibrahima Konate. Despite returning from a serious injury sustained last season, the defender is still finding it hard to make the lineup under Jurgen Klopp.
Gomez has managed three substitute appearances in the Premier League this term, totalling to 12 minutes of football. He is considered a reputed centre-back in the country but needs to play regularly to get back in the national team setup, especially with the World Cup coming up next year.
The idea of consistent first-team football may have Gomez thinking about a transfer in the January window, either on loan or permanently. As things stand, Gomez will likely have no chance of playing regular games for Liverpool, barring cup ties. Hence there is some substance over Aston Villa’s links to the centre-back, which have emerged in recent weeks.
Despite Klopp publicly ruling out a loan move for Gomez in January, the defender might be thinking of one with the idea of playing regularly on the forefront. Aston Villa could be a great option for the England international, considering they are a team under development with Steven Gerrard at the helm.
Former Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish has backed the idea of Gomez moving to Aston Villa, suggesting he could succeed under Gerrard. He told Football Insider the defender could cost over £20 million in the current market while urging the centre-back to make a move.
McLeish said, “It would be a good move. Steven probably knows quite a bit about the guy. I’m sure he’ll have seen Gomez in action many, many times. The question is, he’s going to cost a fair bit, and I’m not sure they’ll do Steven any favours in terms of transfer fees.
“He’d probably still cost over £20 million, but these are at the levels we’re at these days. Gomez is probably at the moment in his career where he needs to play every single game or most of the games in a season. He’s got to think about his own future too.
“Villa are an emerging club; they’ve spent a hell of a lot of money over the past few seasons and will want to keep on improving. Gomez wants to keep improving as well. He’s not going to do that by sitting on the bench or maybe getting in the Liverpool team every five or 10 games. At the age that Joe is at now, he wants to be playing every week.”
With Klopp insisting on keeping Gomez within his squad beyond January and ruling out a loan move, it remains to be seen if Liverpool are tempted to cash in if an offer comes in. Going by the standards, the Merseysiders have set for themselves in recent years, it may take more than 20 million to convince them to let the defender leave.