Joe Gomez has lifted the lid on a decision he made prior to signing for Liverpool that could have taken his career in a different direction.
The defender became the club’s longest-serving current player this summer when former skipper Jordan Henderson departed for Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League.
Gomez arrived at Anfield from Charlton in the summer of 2015 for £3.5 million and he has gone on to make 182 appearances for the Reds.
Liverpool weren’t the only club credited with interest in the centre-back eight years ago, with Gomez revealing that a move to Germany presented an alternative option before leaving The Valley.
“In the January, I went to RB Leipzig,” Gomez told the On the Judy podcast.
“I had only played half a season, they were still in the Bundesliga 2. In hindsight, they are a great club but I wasn’t ready.
“I went with my mum, my dad and my missus wasn’t feeling it either. I knew I wasn’t ready, but the opportunity to go came up.
“If you play in Germany [today], the likelihood is you’re coming back. At the time, for me, there weren’t many examples of that yet. Maybe today I would be like, ‘wow, this is the way’.”
The 26-year-old has suffered a series of unfortunate long-term injury problems during his time on Merseyside.
Since then, Gomez has struggled to nail down a regular spot in the back four while having to wrestle with various fitness issues.
He admits he now has a “different outlook” on football as a result of his injuries and insists he is more driven than ever to contribute to the side.
“I want to have consistency and durability, play a solid season and enjoy my football more than anything,” he continued.
“I obviously have a different outlook on it because of the injuries. But [the goal is] just to be the best version of myself and see where that takes me. Control the controllables because sometimes opportunity comes, sometimes it doesn’t.
“If I can look back and say that I did everything I could to be the best version of me, where that takes me is what it is. I’m grateful to be at the club that I’m at but, at the same time, have that balance of the hunger to want to keep striving, for sure.”