Joe Gomez's year-long absence from football instilled a hunger in him that can only be sated by further first-team outings for Liverpool.
In the absence of the injured Nathaniel Clyne, the 20-year-old has shared right-back duties with Trent Alexander-Arnold so far this season, starting two of the Reds’ five fixtures.
But, having missed so much action due to the serious knee injury that kept him out between October 2015 and January 2017, the defender is by no means happy with his lot.
His desire to hold onto his place in the back four is fuelled by the knowledge of what life without his football is like, and he doesn’t expect that craving to subside any time soon.
“I’m definitely hungry for more opportunities and I think that hunger is going to stay with me just because of what has happened in the past,” Gomez told Liverpoolfc.com.
“I know that it can all be taken away from you and you’ve got to be grateful for the chance to play and just to be healthy.
“I’ve definitely got the desire and the fire within me to play, and obviously having a taste of it at the start of the season, it’s only driving me more and making me want more.
“Hopefully I can keep getting opportunities and the team can keep doing well and I’ll keep progressing.”
Of course, with Liverpool back in the Champions League this term, opportunities to claim a place in the starting XI should be plentiful.
In acknowledgement of that fact, Gomez added: “That’s the massive bonus of being in the Champions League, there are more games.
“With the Premier League and the cup [as well], there are so many opportunities to play and that’s a massive plus not only for me but everyone in the squad.
“There is bound to be that rotation and chance to play so it’s just about taking it and trying to do the best you can when you get into the team and help.”
Joe Gomez stars in episode five of #LFCWORLD - watch on demand now
Jürgen Klopp and his squad face the challenge of navigating a packed fixture schedule this season due to the additional European commitments, but Gomez is confident that he and his teammates can cope.
Ahead of a seven-day period that sees the Reds take on Manchester City, Sevilla and Burnley, the versatile youngster insisted he ‘wouldn’t have it any other way’.
He continued: “The schedule is going to be relentless, it’s going to be continuous midweek and weekend games.
“We have to be ready for it but we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a massive plus to be in the Champions League.
“With City at the weekend it’s off to a quick start and we have to be ready for that but it’s all positive and I think we’re capable of dealing with it as a team.
“There’s so much quality and depth in the side, I think we’ll cope with it well.”
Saturday’s fixture at Etihad Stadium sees two of the Premier League’s deadliest attacks go head-to-head, but Gomez is focused on blunting the threat posed by Pep Guardiola’s side.
On the prospect of keeping City’s impressive forward line at bay, he said: “That’s our jobs and that’s probably our main focus going into the game as a back four: that we don’t concede and keep a clean sheet.
“There’s so much attacking threat on the pitch in a game like that, there are bound to be goals, but hopefully it’s in our favour and us scoring the goals.”