April 23, 2024

Joe Gomez: The Liverpool and England defender puts a “psychological burden” behind him

video caption,

The knee injury took a “psychological toll” – Gomez

International friendly match: England x Brazil

date: Saturday 23 March place: Wembley Stadium Starting: 19:00 GMT coverage: Listen to the full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live with John Murray, Ian Dennis and Matt Upson; Follow the live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

Joe Gomez says linking up again with England has closed a chapter on the “psychological damage” he suffered when he last reported for Three Lions duty.

The 26-year-old Liverpool defender suffered a season-ending knee injury during England national team training in November 2020.

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

“Coming out of the warm-up, it was good to close this chapter,” he said.

Speaking on Wednesday about the events at the time, he added: “I would be lying if it didn't have a psychological impact.

“I left the training ground in an ambulance. It was tough to deal with leaving and not getting the chance to come back. It's good to be back in the mix and close this chapter.”

“When I'm 22, after being gone for so long, it's normal for everyone to get older. You get a different look and perspective. You should be grateful to be here.”

“I don't think about the euro”

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

The Reds are equal on points with Arsenal, the leaders in the English Premier League, with 10 matches remaining. In addition, the Carabao Cup winner will face Atalanta in the Europa League quarter-finals.

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

“I don't think about the future that much,” he said about making the team for the European Championship. “We have a lot to play for, especially with the club as well.”

Despite crashing out of the FA Cup last weekend with a quarter-final loss to Manchester United, Liverpool will be hoping to finish the season before Jurgen Klopp departs as manager.

Gomez added: “I owe him a lot. He was the biggest influence in my career.”

He added, “We all appreciate him greatly, but nothing has changed and we all want to perform well. All we can do is focus on what comes next.”

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