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Liverpool players have already been raving about potential Joe Gomez replacement – Mirror Online

https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/liverpool-players-already-been-raving-22996276

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will explore plenty of options to cope with his centre-back crisis.

Joe Gomez looks set to join Virgil van Dijk on the sidelines for a lengthy spell after suffering a knee injury in England training.

The Reds are anxiously awaiting the results of scans and hoping for positive news after Gomez went down with a non-contact injury.

One silver lining for the Reds is that they have several young defenders that are highly-rated waiting in the wings to take their chances.

Amongst those who could get a call-up to the first-team is Billy Koumetio, who made his mark on Jurgen Klopp and his team-mates in pre-season.

The Athletic revealed ahead of the Community Shield that Reds first-team stars were left ‘raving about how good he is’ with the French prospect creating a ‘buzz’ after his involvement.

Billy Koumetio made an impression for Liverpool in pre-season
(Image: Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Koumetio, 17, joined the Reds academy from FC Orleans in 2018 and instantly made an impression.

He featured regularly ahead of the new campaign, although his first start saw him replaced at half-time by Joel Matip in their final pre-season friendly against Blackpool.

After the game, Koumetio was labelled a “big talent” by Klopp, who reassured him he has a bright future despite him losing possession for the opening Blackpool goal.

After that game, Klopp said: “Absolutely (he will learn). We had some problems in the first half. [The opening goal] was a pressed ball against a very experienced player, who was stronger in that moment.

“Billy played super balls, super passes and was there. Our last line played [for the] first time together like this, it is completely fine, but we were just not high enough.

“There were many situations where I thought it must be offside, but it wasn’t offside. For one reason at least, it was not offside because we were not really in line.

“All these things, little things to learn, but 17 years old, the whole life in front of him, which is really nice.

“[He is a] big talent and, as I said, he had a few really, really good situations, but in this press ball, it was not so nice.”

Speaking back in August, Klopp spoke of his perfect plan for patience with Koumetio, but their injury crisis could force his hand and fast-track him into the fold.

Koumetio could get a first-team chance with Liverpool’s centre-back crisis worsening
(Image: Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

“The perfect situation would be that he maybe really first be with the U23s and stuff like this,” said Klopp. “But a training camp is a nice opportunity for him, it’s good for us to see him.

“I took him [Sunday] morning in a session because we have to make sure we don’t over-do [it] with him.

“It’s very important. So he was not part of the last part of the session physically but I took him aside and explained what we do there

“I think things like this help him a lot and I’m pretty sure he will make big steps. We just have to make sure that we really deal with his age group and physical demands well.”

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