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“The real story is…” – Jurgen Klopp pinpoints alternative key to Liverpool’s win

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The story of Liverpool’s week, from the Luton win, to the League Cup success, to the FA Cup victory over Southampton, has been the club’s impressive youngsters.

Three debuts – for Jayden Danns, Lewis Koumas and Trey Nyoni – with two of them scoring the goals against Southampton, plus six academy players featuring in the League Cup final, has been quite an eight-day period for the club.

Jurgen Klopp has been effusive in his praise for the work the club’s academy have done in fostering an environment for these players to develop.

But, speaking after the 3-0 home win on Wednesday night, he took the opportunity to shine the spotlight on another player who has been putting in a shift for the team lately.

Joe Gomez has clocked up 36 appearances so far this season, his most since the title-winning campaign of 2019/20, with 17 of them coming at right-back, 14 at left-back, four at centre-back, and now one at centre-midfield.

It was a solution borne out of necessity, but Klopp was keen to praise the 26-year-old’s versatility and flexibility post-match.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 25, 2024: Liverpool's (L-R) Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté celebrate with the trophy after the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0 after extra-time. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp praised: “Joe Gomez saved our lives until now 20 times and the kids kept us in the competition.

“So, we can talk about the boys for the next four hours if you want but the real story today, besides the goals, is actually Joe Gomez.

“For the first time on that position, in the middle of the park with chaos around him because nothing was settled, I couldn’t respect it more.”

It’s nice to see Gomez getting the praise he deserves, playing in an unfamiliar position and again ‘taking one for the team’ – as he has done for almost all his appearances this season and with great success.

Speaking about the youngsters, Klopp said: “Yes, it’s exceptional but we said a couple of times that the future doesn’t look that bad.”

Before urging: “Don’t forget it in the moment when the transfer window opens that there are a couple of pretty promising players already here. Don’t close the door for them with 12 signings or whatever.”

The boss added: “Caoimh [Kelleher], we know how good he is, but then Joey [Gomez] on No.6, two 19-year-olds on No.8, an 18-year-old on the left wing and then Cody [Gakpo] and Harvey [Elliott], who in other circumstances would never have played.

“Harvey played 120 minutes a few days ago! So, what these two boys did there is absolutely incredible.”

Now, if all the wools can just stop shouting for Gomez to shoot.