Liverpool signed Joe Gomez for a measly £4m back in the summer of 2015, with the defender going on to forge a reputation as one of the most exciting young English talents around.
Since his move, he has appeared 75 times for the Reds, but opportunities have been hard to come by in recent times.
We recently broke the news that the 22-year-old is considering leaving Anfield in search of greater first-team chances, with frustrations only growing over limited minutes on the field.
The former Charlton man began the 2018/19 season as the Reds' first-choice partner to Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the defence. However, he suffered a horrific leg fracture in his side's win over Burnley in December of 2018, ruling him out until April.
Joel Matip ended up filling in for the defender, with his fine performances helping the Reds to Champions League glory. As a result, Matip has cemented his place in the side, and has even been rewarded with a new contract to extend his stay at the club. This has meant Gomez's opportunities have been limited since his return.
In 2019/20, the centre-back has played just 95 minutes of Premier League football after ten matches of the season. He started the first game against Norwich, while he also went on to play all 120 minutes in Liverpool's UEFA Super Cup win over Chelsea. However, he was then dropped to the bench and has since spent the majority of his time watching from the sidelines.
Perhaps, most worryingly, in the Anfield side's recent win over Genk, manager Jurgen Klopp opted to select Dejan Lovren ahead of Gomez, with Matip ruled out through injury. In their next match - a crucial tussle with Tottenham - Lovren was once again given the nod.
So, with the defender's frustrations growing, we thought it would be wise to go right ahead and assess Gomez's next steps.
Seek a Loan Move
The report states that should the Englishman depart, he would prefer a return to London. Further to this, it is believed that both Arsenal and Tottenham are willing to offer Gomez a route back to the capital, as they look to solidify their defences - with a January loan move a possibility.
The Gunners appear lost at this moment in time under the management of Unai Emery, with numerous pundits and fans beginning to question whether the team has actually improved since Arsene Wenger departed. This was all before the club went on to let a two-goal lead slip against Crystal Palace at the Emirates, with club captain Granit Xhaka rudely gesturing to the crowd after a sarcastic applause rang out around the stadium when his number came up to be substituted.
The Gunners then lost an absolutely ludicrous Carabao Cup tussle with Liverpool on Wednesday evening, with the match going to penalties after it finished 5-5.
Could the Englishman be the man to help rescue Emery and his Arsenal side, even if it were a loan spell? Well, a fit-again Gomez would certainly add some much-needed defensive quality at the back. No central defender has really done enough to cement their place in the side, meaning he would have a very good opportunity to gain further minutes at a top side.
As for their north London rivals, Tottenham are not doing much better. Mauricio Pochettino's men are 11th in the table, following their latest defeat to Liverpool. Defensive fragility has also been evident for Spurs and a move for Gomez could well aid them in their pursuit of resurrecting their season.
Serge Aurier gave away the penalty at Anfield on Sunday, and the right-back slot has certainly been a trouble area for the side this term - the Englishman could be a suitable option for both clubs, with Tottenham looking for a temporary solution, while Liverpool will benefit from Gomez seeing more minutes in the long run.
It is possible and it could well suit all parties involved.
Seek a Permanent Move
There's no denying it, Tottenham and Arsenal could certainly do with a player of the calibre of Joe Gomez, both because of his footballing abilities and due to their respective defensive struggles. However, a permanent move won't come cheap.
The Englishman is desperate to make up for lost time following his long-term injury layoff and with both north London sides willing to 'happily' offer him a route out of Anfield, it may just appeal to Gomez. There is also the small matter of getting back into the England starting lineup, with Euro 2020 just around the corner.
It's also worth noting that Spurs are in a bit of contract crisis, with both Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen's contracts due to expire at the end of the season. As a result, it's easy to see why the club are reportedly in for him - he fits the bill and would serve as a potential long-term replacement.
The 22-year-old's versatility across the backline will also be a major attraction for Spurs. They certainly could do a lot worse, but agreeing a fee could prove challenging.
Arsenal, meanwhile, have conceded 14 goals in ten Premier League games this term, one fewer than 17th-placed Newcastle - underlining the issue for Emery's men. However, with William Saliba set to join the Gunners next season, they will hardly be lacking in that department and Gomez could well face a similar issue.
Stay and Fight for His Place
It was a horrific moment for Gomez when he suffered the fractured leg in December, especially considering his fine form. However, he is still only 22 and Liverpool see him as the future of the club.
As the season progresses, his versatility and all-round quality will ensure that he sees more minutes. Klopp has already hailed his work ethic and has recently claimed that his services will be required in the next few weeks, suggesting that opportunities will present themselves.
While he has a right to feel aggrieved by his lack of opportunities, the defender has the chance to show some mental toughness and character by fighting for his place. Gomez has all the necessary attributes to regain his place in the Liverpool side, and if he is able to stay injury-free and impress when given the chance, there is no reason why the defender cannot become the club's main central defender for years to come.
It's understandable that Gomez is irritated by his lack of minutes this term, especially considering he's anxious to make up for lost time after suffering a serious injury.
Spurs and Arsenal are both keen on bringing in Gomez, and whether it were a loan or permanent move, this will most likely appeal to him as he is said to favour a move back to London, should he leave.
However, the simple fact of the matter is that he is a fans' favourite and Liverpool have placed a great deal of faith in him since acquiring his services. It is now time for him to repay their trust and faith in him by taking his game to the next level and fighting for his place in the side.