Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has thanked manager Jurgen Klopp for standing by him through his injury and praised his ability to connect with his players.
Gomez suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury shortly after Klopp's appointment as Reds manager in October 2015 and was out of contention for more than a year.
However, the England U21 captain has returned to the peak of his powers this season, making eight appearances in all competitions, and has credited Klopp for sticking with him through the difficult times.
“With him, I think it’s about the individual connection – it’s more than just about speaking to you as manager-to-player. There’s an emotional connection there and it makes you want to play for him and for the club. He takes time out for you and I think he’s aware of everyone’s feelings. He’s able to assess how people are feeling and is able to speak to them like normal people," he told LFC Magazine.
“Of course when you get players who are not playing in the team, they are not going to be happy. But he is able to take that side out of it and just speak to you in a straightforward way. As I say, it makes you want to play for him. If you spoke to all of the lads in the dressing room, everyone has such a desire and passion to play for him and that only works best for the players and the team.
“I want to play for him and for the club and try to put [the injuries] behind me. I’m thankful for the opportunities that he has been giving me. When I was out, he was someone I was always dreaming of playing for, but the timing was difficult and I didn’t get the chance. Now I’m just thankful and want to keep taking it in my stride.”