Gareth Southgate blames fixture congestion for Joe Gomez's knee injury

Gareth Southgate has had a ‘long chat’ with Jurgen Klopp after Joe Gomez’s serious knee injury… and insists fixture congestion is the reason behind the blow

  • Joe Gomez will miss most of the season after a serious knee injury with England
  • Gareth Southgate described the Liverpool man’s blow as a ‘tragic’ incident
  • Southgate claims Gomez would have got injured even if he was not with England
  • The England boss blamed fixture congestion and has spoken with Jurgen Klopp 

Gareth Southgate admitted he has spoken to Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp about Joe Gomez’s injury and has blamed the blow on the fixture congestion facing Premier League players. 

Gomez has been ruled out for most of this season and is a doubt for next summer’s European Championships after suffering a serious knee injury in England training this week. 

Southgate maintains that Gomez, who has played six games in the last 19 days, would have suffered that injury even if he was not on England duty and that both him and Klopp are worried about the workload on top-flight players. 

Gareth Southgate (above) says Joe Gomez’s injury was inevitable due to fixture congestion

The Liverpool and England defender will miss most of the season due to a knee injury

The England boss told ITV on Thursday: ‘I had a long chat with Jurgen. We’re all worried about the players. To lose a player like we did yesterday was really tragic. 

‘There needs to be a look at the calendar, we’re lucky we have six substitutes tonight and five for the Nations League (against Belgium and Iceland). We have to lessen the load (on the players). 

‘Unfortunately the injury was so unique with what happened, it was a consequence of the number of games. 

‘Wherever he would have been, there was always a chance that would have happened. We think the welfare of the players is critical.’

Southgate claims he has spoken to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (above) about the blow

Liverpool already have key central defender Virgil van Dijk out for most of this season after being injured by Three Lions goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the Reds’ Merseyside Derby draw with Everton in October.

This means Joel Matip, who is struggling for fitness, will be the Reds’ only recognised centre-back in their quest to defend their Premier League crown.

Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is out for around four weeks after being injured in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City, while midfielder Fabinho – who can also play in defence – was ruled out of November’s matches with a hamstring issue. 

The Reds already have Trent Alexander-Arnold (left) and Virgil van Dijk (right) out injured

Klopp can call on raw central defenders Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams, though both players have limited experience in elite professional football. 

At the start of November, Sportsmail revealed that injuries have increased by 42 per cent from last season – even before the Gomez and Alexander-Arnold injuries, with the coronavirus pandemic partly to blame for this spike. 

Premier League managers, including the likes of Klopp and Chelsea’s Frank Lampard, have called for the top-flight to reintroduce the five substitutes rules the league used immediately after the COVID-19 hiatus.

Top-flight clubs voted to go back to three substitutes at the start of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign. 

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