Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson is overjoyed to see Joe Gomez back on the pitch again after four months out with a broken leg.
Gomez, 21, suffered a fracture to the lower part of his left leg against Burnley in December and was initially only expected to be out for a matter of weeks.
But the England international has encountered setbacks and only managed to make his return to the Liverpool team when appearing as a second-half substitute in the Reds’ 4-1 Champions League quarter-final second-leg win at Porto on Wednesday.
Prior to his injury, Gomez had nailed down a place in Liverpool’s starting XI, forming a fine centre-back partnership with Virgil van Dijk.
His next task is to once again move ahead of Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip in the pecking order for the right to start alongside Van Dijk, and Alisson is thrilled to see the talented Gomez back in the squad.
“I’m really happy to see him back,” Alisson told Liverpool’s official website. “He’s a top guy both on and off the pitch, 10 out of 10.
“He’s a great person that deserves the very best in his life. To be able to have him on the pitch is always great [and] he came on and made a great contribution against Porto.
“At the beginning of the season, before his injury, he was a really important player for us defensively.
“That [the injury] is part of football and he dealt with the setback really positively. He was out for longer than expected, but he was always a really positive influence in the dressing room, supporting us, being positive and showing a great desire to get back playing, which was clear for all to see on the pitch against Porto.”
The 6-1 aggregate win over Porto set up a semi-final with Barcelona, whom Alisson helped eliminate last season while at Roma, and the Brazilian hopes he can use that experience to the Reds’ favour this time around.
“I think there’s always something we can bring to the table, we’re constantly learning in life,” Alisson added.
“It was an incredible experience to participate in the quarter-finals for Roma, losing the first leg 4-1 then winning 3-0 at home.
“I actually didn’t have too much to do in that game [the second leg], my team put in a great defensive and attacking performance.
“If we are to beat Barcelona we will have to work very hard defensively. They’re a team with such a potent attack, not just up front, as there’s a lot of support coming from midfield.
“They’re a very organised team and they’re very strong at dead-ball situations, so we’ll certainly have to give our everything to get through to the final.”