Advertisement

Joe Gomez: Liverpool and England defender puts 'psychological toll' behind him

International friendly: England v Brazil

Date: Saturday, 23 March Venue: Wembley Stadium Kick-off: 19:00 GMT Coverage: Listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live with John Murray, Ian Dennis and Matt Upson; follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app

Joe Gomez says linking back up with England has closed a chapter on the "psychological toll" he suffered when he last reported for Three Lions duty.

The Liverpool defender, 26, suffered a season-ending knee injury during England training in November 2020.

Gomez could feature for Gareth Southgate's team for the first time since October 2020 when Brazil visit Wembley for a friendly on Saturday.

"Getting out in the warm-up, it was nice to close that chapter," he said.

Gomez underwent surgery on his left knee tendon after the injury which ruled him out for the rest of the 2020-21 campaign.

Speaking on Wednesday about the events back then, he added: "I'd be lying if it didn't have a psychological toll.

"I left the training pitch in an ambulance. Leaving and not getting a chance to come back was tough to deal with. It's nice to get back in the mix and close that chapter.

"At the time I was 22, being away for so long, naturally everyone gets older. You get a different outlook and perspective. You've got to be grateful to be here."

'I'm not thinking about Euros'

Gomez has featured regularly during what has so far been a successful season for Liverpool.

The Reds are level on points with leaders Arsenal in the Premier League with 10 matches to go. In addition, the Carabao Cup winners face Atalanta in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

Gomez, however, is focused on the present rather than the summer when England compete at Euro 2024 in Germany.

"I'm not thinking ahead that far," he said about making the squad for the Euros. "We have a lot to play for and especially on the club side as well."

Despite going out of the FA Cup last weekend with a quarter-final loss at Manchester United, Liverpool are hoping to finish the season well before Jurgen Klopp leaves as manager.

Gomez added: "I owe a lot to him. He's been the biggest influence in my career.

"We all appreciate him massively but nothing has changed and we all want to do well. All we can do is focus on what is ahead."