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England manager Gareth Southgate was in a downbeat mood as he described the latest injury misfortune to hit Liverpool defender Joe Gomez.
If there is an consolation for the 23-year-old, it is that he has experience of overcoming serious injury and being a better player.
Back in 2015, Liverpool signed the then 18-year-old from Charlton for just £3.5million and he quickly impressed for the Reds, making seven appearances and making his debut for the England under-21s.
But in a 3-0 win over Kazakhstan, Gomez was forced off with a new injury which Southgate, who was the manager at the time, described was "nothing too serious".
Unfortunately, scans soon revealed the worst and Gomez would miss the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
It would take 15 months before Gomez would play again for Liverpool, making his return in the FA Cup third round.
And speaking back in 2017, Gomez opened up about the struggles he faced.
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“It was tough at times. There were phases when I felt like everything was against me,” he told the Liverpool Echo.
“But I always believed I would come back. I am thankful that I came through to it and that it’s behind me now.
“Now looking back at it, it was a big year for me to learn about himself and gain faith in myself. It certainly has made me mentally stronger.
“I look upon things differently, I am a different person. When you have experienced something like that, you don’t take things for granted any more. I see it as a blessing that I was able to learn from it in the way I did."
Five days before Gomez suffered the injury, Jurgen Klopp was appointed Liverpool manager.
The German stuck by Gomez, insisting there was a place for him in the team once fit, and that faith was rewarded with the defender forming a formidable Champions League and Premier League winning partnership with Virgil van Dijk.
On Sunday, Gomez made his 100th league appearance in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City and Klopp was effusive in his praise of the England international.
“He’s still young, so impressive number, impressive boy. Very good, very good,” he said.
“He came here before me, so he’s here even longer than me. He played left-back, he played right-back, when Brendan (Rodgers) played with three in the back, different positions.
“He played together with Kolo Toure, Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel, all these guys, then Dejan Lovren, Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip.
“So he had so many different partners but he was always the kid in the line pretty much and that changed now obviously completely.
“And how everybody (has to) in life, we have to grow in situations like this and he did that.
“He used the last few weeks obviously, pretty much thrown in cold water if you want, and used it really well.
“(He) did really well and I’m really happy about the performances he put in. Very important for us obviously.”
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