Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has spoken about the huge help he has been given by Anfield team-mate Virgil van Dijk after forming a formidable partnership with the Dutch ace since he arrived on Merseyside from Southampton in 2018.
Gomez has revealed that he and van Dijk have become close pals over the past couple of years as they battle for the Reds in their quest to bring the adoring hordes the silverware they crave. The bid for the Premier League title may be on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic but the suspension of football has allowed Jurgen Klopp’s men to reflect on the season so far.
And Gomez, speaking to the club’s official website, has chosen to talk about his friendship on the pitch — also off it — with the giant Holland defender. Gomez was lucky enough to reach the 100-game milestone for the Kop idols before the coronavirus crisis swept the land, and globe, and meant that the game was stopped in its tracks.
With Klopp’s men 25 points ahead at the top of the top-flight table, Liverpool fans are praying that the football authorities find a way of resuming the game so they can claim their title (the first for 30 years), or are simply handed the crown given the size of their advantage over second-placed Manchester City.
In the meantime, Gomez said of his team-mate:
“The stature of Virgil when he came to the club was obviously already massive. I was a young centre-back, I hadn’t really got as many games there as I would have liked. But as soon as he came in he reached out with open arms and we formed a bond straight away; just the fact that he’s a down-to-earth person off the pitch, we get on really well.
“Off the pitch we have a great relationship. We talk and at times like this we FaceTime and casually speak about general things in life. That helps on the pitch, when you have an understanding and he’s your mate at the end of the day. Sometimes he gives me an earful! But it’s a massive help and a confidence-booster just having someone like him beside you.
“When there’s a one-v-one battle you know he’s going to dominate; every header, he doesn’t really lose headers at all. Just having him alongside me, his presence. And that’s not just me — the team and even the stadium, when he does down there’s a bit of a gasp and worry. He’s a real dominant force and a pleasure to play alongside.”
It goes without saying that both Gomez and Van Dijk will have a big say in many more Liverpool victories — and that bodes well for the future of the Reds!