Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has revealed Jurgen Klopp convinced him to stay at Anfield and thanked the former Borussia Dortmund manager in helping him make the "right decision".
The 20-year-old moved to the Merseyside club from Charlton Athletic on a five-year deal in 2015, but his progress was hindered after a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury in October that year.
Gomez returned to training in November 2016, but struggle to cement a place in the starting XI. However, after impressing in the Champions League play-off against Hoffenheim, he has been a regular starter for Liverpool, making nine appearances in the Premier League.
In the summer transfer window, Gomez considered going out on loan to get regular playing time. However, the German boss convinced him to stay with Liverpool.
"At the time, my main aim was to attack the off-season and to be in the best possible shape for pre-season," Gomez was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo.
"I saw it as a fresh start, a blank page to progress again. It was in the back of my mind that I could potentially go out on loan if I didn't see things going the way I wanted them to go.
"But the manager gave me the belief that I could work my way into the team. I'm thankful that it feels like the right decision to stay and work for my place. I was aware that I could go out on loan because I went a year without regular football, but thankfully I got that at my club."
Klopp has fielded Gomez on the right side of the back-four, especially with the absence of injured Nathaniel Clyne. His impressive display for the Anfield club has seen him being called up by Gareth Southgate for England's upcoming friendlies against Germany and Brazil.
Gomez stressed that he sees his long-term future in the central defending position, but added that he enjoys playing as a full-back at Liverpool.
"Ideally, I want to end up as a centre-back. That's where I think I can progress the most and develop to be the best I can be. But I enjoy playing at full-back and it's helped me with my development to this point," he explained.
"For me, being a young player and getting regular games, regardless of the position, I'm just happy to be able to learn. But I do see myself moving inside towards centre-half and hopefully playing most of my career there."