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Joe Gomez wanted by Steven Gerrard to trade Liverpool for Aston Villa this summer

By Darren Lewis

Steven Gerrard has targeted Liverpool defender Joe Gomez as he plots an overhaul of his Aston Villa defence.

The Anfield legend has seen his side’s poor defensive record undermine the club’s hopes of finishing in the top half of the table this season. Gerrard wants to reshape his squad into one capable of competing for a European place next season and wants to bring in a new centre-half and a central midfielder.

He was beaten to the signing of Rodrigo Bentancur by Spurs last summer but hopes to address that position this time around. Gomez is fourth-choice centre back at Liverpool this season, despite the esteem in which he is held at the club.

The 24-year-old England defender has made a successful return from a serious knee injury, picked up on international duty last season. But he has struggled for game time with just 20 appearances to his name in 2021/22.

He is currently fourth choice centre-back at Anfirld as Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate are regularly rotated by Jurgen Klopp as partners in central defence for Virgil van Dijk. Indeed, it has been acting as Trent Alexander Arnold’s deputy this season that Gomez has been able to rack up the minutes this season.

Klopp continues to value Gomez, describing him earlier this season as a role model for other players. The Reds boss said: ““Everyone loves Joey and with his injury, covid at the wrong time, he didn't get rhythm. It's not the position he loves the most [at right-back]. But he is an example and we have lots of others."

Villa currently sit 12th in the Premier League with just two wins from their last eight games, one draw and five defeats. The Midlands club have home games against Crystal Palace and Burnley remaining in front of their own fans before rounding off the season with a trip to Manchester City.

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