Liverpool player suffers injury setback, will miss start of season
Liverpool defender Joe Gomez will miss the start of the season after suffering a fresh injury setback, Press Association Sport understands.
The 19-year-old had been working his way back to fitness from a knee injury sustained in October on international duty with the England Under-21 team that ended his 2015-16 campaign.
However, it is understood he has now picked up an Achilles problem that is being assessed by Liverpool in terms of its severity but has definitely ruled him out of their Premier League opener at Arsenal on August 14.
While the amount of time that Gomez will be unavailable for is unclear at this stage, the news will be a considerable concern for Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, under whom the player - signed last summer from Charlton - is yet to make an appearance.
Klopp was already short of central defensive options, with Mamadou Sakho due to be sidelined for a month by an Achilles complaint of his own, and Martin Skrtel having been sold to Fenerbahce.
He does have new recruit Joel Matip to call upon, plus Dejan Lovren, but may well now look to bring in further reinforcements in that position.
Lovren put in some impressive performances last season in a campaign that saw Klopp guide Liverpool, who finished eighth in the Premier League, to the finals of the League Cup and Europa League.
The Merseyside outfit were unable to claim the trophy on either of those occasions and Lovren admits the latter, a 3-1 loss to Sevilla in May, is something he is still feeling regret about.
However, he has no doubt it will serve as a valuable experience for the future and is confident the 2016-17 season will be a greater success for Liverpool than the last one.
"It would have been much better if we could have finished the season with a win in the final. I still regret it," the 27-year-old Croatian told liverpoolfc.com.
"I hope we will have other finals in our career. We need to use this one so that we will never repeat it again.
"I feel we didn't play 100 per cent in the game. It's definitely a disappointment for all of us - for us and the fans.
"But it's a learning process for us and the coach. It's normal, it's football - it's never perfect. We will definitely use it for next time."
Klopp succeeded the sacked Brendan Rodgers in October, and Lovren added: "The manager came suddenly in the middle of the season and it was really tough for him to adapt, but he was adapting much quicker than everyone was thinking.
"It was like a warm-up for this season, so I think we will have a much better season with him."