Forget Adrian: £37.8m-valued Liverpool ace still has a lot to learn – opinion

Liverpool will be bitterly disappointed to end the defence of their Champions League title by losing in the first knockout round, albeit against Atletico Madrid.

The Reds were beaten in both legs – they lost 1-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano, before being defeated 3-2 at Anfield after extra-time. As such, it means they can only win the Premier League, just weeks after it looked as though they could have a good run at the famed treble.

Lifting a first league title in 30 years – that now seems inevitable with their 25-point lead at the top of the table – will be good enough for most supporters, but for Jurgen Klopp and his players, there may remain a sense of what might have been.

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In terms of the clash against Los Rojiblancos, Adrian will likely receive his fair share of the blame. Marcos Llorente’s first goal was largely down to the 33-year-old after his clearance was straight at Joao Felix in a dangerous position, but he wasn’t the only one to let himself down on the night.

Joe Gomez has been fantastic this campaign for Liverpool. In the 14 Premier League matches he has started, the Reds have kept nine clean sheets, and they have won every single match. However, in Europe, it is has been quite a different story – they have failed to keep out the opposition in any of the five matches in which he has been included in the starting XI, conceding nine times in the process.

Joe Gomez vs Atletico - Forget Adrian: £37.8m-valued Liverpool ace still has a lot to learn - opinion

Against Atletico, he was far from his best. He managed a SofaScore rating of just six, prevailing in only three of his 10 ground duels. The £37.8m-rated defender was dribbled past on one occasion as well, whilst he also gave away two fouls. Even on the few occasions he was called into action, he still struggled to put his stamp on proceedings.

Gomez is a promising centre-back, but he still has plenty to learn – after all, he is just 22. Even having featured in just 19 league matches, this is still his second-most prolific top-tier campaign in his career in terms of games played. Alongside Virgil van Dijk, there are few better places to improve your trade, but there is no doubt that he must do exactly that.

No disrespect to the likes of Bournemouth and West Ham, but clean sheets against those sides will not define him. The Champions League is where players are most scrutinised, and he has yet to announce himself there. It is up to him to show that he truly belongs.

Meanwhile, this famed youth academy could provide Liverpool with their Sadio Mane replacement.

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