Gomez knows he needs Liverpool place for England spot

Liverpool and England defender Joe Gomez was first choice for club and country last year before injury struck.

Liverpool and England defender Joe Gomez   -  Getty Images

Joe Gomez is well aware he must win back a starting place at Liverpool if he is to do likewise with England.

The 22-year-old defender starred as Gareth Southgate's side booked its place in the inaugural Nations League Finals last season, but a lower-leg fracture ruled him out for much of the second half of the campaign.

He now finds himself down the pecking order at Liverpool, with Joel Matip having established himself as Virgil van Dijk's first-choice partner.

Southgate preferred Harry Maguire and Michael Keane as his starting centre-backs for the Euro 2020 qualification wins over Bulgaria and Kosovo, with Gomez an unused substitute for both matches as John Stones – who he featured alongside for the Three Lions last season – sat the games out due to injury.

"I cannot blame him [Southgate]. He speaks to me and is a great manager but if you meet up with England you are expected to be playing, so I have to keep working hard," Gomez told reporters.

"I have not been playing and every footballer wants to be playing.

"At the same time I understand that we are European champions and the lads are doing very well at the minute, so all I can do is keep my head down, keep working hard in training and wait for my chance.

"You cannot sit there and be down. You have to stay positive and do yourself justice when the time comes.

"You need to show the good attitude otherwise you will do yourself harm."

Liverpool has won all six of its Premier League games this season to open up an early five-point lead over champion Manchester City.

Jurgen Klopp's side travels to Sheffield United on Saturday.

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