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Lawro exclusive: Liverpool will keep Aston Villa target Gomez; Preston will play role

Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson believes the club will keep Joe Gomez next summer.

Gomez was a first-choice centre-back alongside Virgil van Dijk in Liverpool's Premier League title winning season in 2019/20.

Since then, the Englishman has been desperately unlucky with a number of injuries that have restricted him to 11 league appearances over the past 18 months.

With van Dijk, Joel Matip and new arrival Ibrahima Konate ahead of him on the pecking order, it was reported that Gomez was seeking a move away in January.

Aston Villa had shown interest in the 24-year-old, but Liverpool did not want a repeat of last season when they caught out with injuries.

And Lawrenson thinks the Reds will try and retain Gomez for the 2022/23 campaign.

"He's on a long-term contract, so the club can say he's going nowhere," Lawrenson told TribalFootball.com, on behalf of FreeSuperTips.

"He just needs to play, and the problem is, when you think about it, 18 months - two years ago, the centre backs were Gomez and Van Dijk.

"Because of those injuries, he's gone down to fourth choice centre back.

"They weren't going to let him go on loan because you remember last season, they had all sorts of problems with all the centre backs being injured.

"The problem will be that these lads don't play any football outside of the first team.

"They might play what they call 'bounce' games and I know they have them against Preston occasionally.

"They'll play three 30-minute games, but there's no tackling or competitive edge, it's nothing like a matchday and no pressure, so all they do is keep fit.

"It's a difficult one for him, he's probably been knocking on the managers door, and he may or may not get his chance, but that's what it's like at a top club.

"He's still a proper player and for the life of me, I don't think they would let him go in the summer."

Liverpool return from the international break with an FA Cup fourth-round clash with Cardiff City at Anfield on Sunday.

They will then return to the Premier League with games against Leicester and Burnley next week.

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Andrew Maclean
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