Liverpool’s Joe Gomez has had his fair share of injury problems since joining the club, but now the defender has opened up about how his struggle for fitness has impacted his mental health.
When Gomez eventually leaves Liverpool or retires from football all together, he will be remembered for his immense contributions in the Reds’ 2019/20 Premier League title win. He is an incredible defender on his day and formed an immovable centre-back partnership with Virgil van Dijk that year.
However, unfortunately for Gomez and Liverpool fans alike, the defender’s incessant injury problems have hampered his potential at the club.
Since joining in 2015 from Charlton Athletic, the defender has spent 827 days (2.2 calendar years) on the sidelines, an average of 103 days injured for every year he’s been at the club – and has missed plenty of matches as a result.
That level of injury is crippling for a player’s mentality, and Gomez himself has now opened up about how his lack of availability has impacted his mental health over the past eight years.
Speaking with Jacamo and CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) as part of the launch of a new collection of adidas activewear, Gomez said: “Once I got injured, I had a lot of spare time, I think that’s the biggest thing you notice as a player, that when you’re on the pitch training you don’t have time to be thinking, you’re just in your subconscious enjoying the game.
“I had a couple of little injuries and then my last one with my hamstring was a big one and sort of did rock my world.”
The 26-year-old added: “Once I got back into football, I had other battles with worrying about my body and things that I couldn’t control aside from doing the work I needed to do. It’s just appreciation and being thankful that I can do what I still do. And drawing on that to keep me motivated to still do my gym sessions, even when we come back from an away game.
“I just remember in those moments where it was tough, aside from that, just enjoying it.”
Despite his problems with fitness, Gomez has become a highly-valued member of Klopp’s squad, making 174 appearances for the club thus far, and remains part of his plans to this day.
Gomez is currently fully fit and made a substitute appearance in Liverpool’s 3-1 Bournemouth win last weekend.