Sport Soccer

Friday 20 July 2018

Joe Gomez ruled out of Champions League final and World Cup after ankle surgery

Gomez had seemed set to be included in Gareth Southgate’s squad for this summer’s tournament in Russia.

Joe Gomez
Joe Gomez

By Carl Markham

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez admits he is “gutted” after an ankle operation ruled him out of the Champions League final and this summer’s World Cup with England.

The 20-year-old has had surgery to correct a problem initially sustained on international duty during his third appearance for the England senior side in March’s friendly with Holland.

Late last month Gomez admitted he had probably returned too early such was his desire to help his club side and after looking well off form in draws against West Brom and Stoke, the decision was made to take medical intervention.

“Gutted to confirm my season for both club and country is over having undergone successful ankle surgery,” Gomez wrote in an Instagram post.

“Been a tough few weeks trying everything possible to be available on the pitch to help the team.

“I’m going to do all I can to get back and be in the best possible shape for pre-season.

“The focus now is to support the team in the two biggest games of the season.

“Thank you for all your support over the course of the season.”

Gomez impressed in his first two appearances for the England senior side last year, featuring in the 0-0 draws against Germany and Brazil in November, and seemed set to be included in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the tournament in Russia.

But Liverpool confirmed, in a short statement, Gomez would be fit again for the start of the club’s pre-season training schedule in July following a period of rehabilitation.

It is another injury blow as the Reds have already lost Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) and Joel Matip (thigh) for the remainder of the campaign while Emre Can has not played since mid-March because of a back injury.

Adam Lallana faces a race against time to prove his fitness for the Champions League final against Real Madrid and the World Cup after a hamstring problem sustained five weeks ago.

Gomez’s injury limits further manager Jurgen Klopp’s options ahead of Sunday’s final Premier League match at home to Brighton.

Defeat to Chelsea on Sunday, following draws against Stoke and West Brom, has taken the race for a top-four spot into the last week of the season.

Unless Klopp’s best friend David Wagner and his Huddersfield side can pull off a surprise win at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, then Liverpool go into Sunday’s game knowing they must at least match Chelsea’s result against Newcastle, managed by former Reds boss Rafael Benitez.

Should they fail, their last chance of playing Champions League football next season would require them to beat Real Madrid in Kiev.

“It’s my life, it’s our life, that we always make it a little bit more exciting,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com.

“We had these situations a few times and it will be, for sure, exciting because Brighton is in a good moment, they played fantastic against (Manchester) United.

“But it’s all OK, as long as we have it in our own hands, life is good.”

After five matches in 17 days – including a draining two-legged Champions League semi-final with Roma – Klopp has a full week to prepare for the fixture.

“I’m really happy that this very intense period is over now because we have one week to prepare for Brighton – that feels like a year and we will use that,” he added.

Press Association

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