Nathaniel Clyne’s injury may hamper Joe Gomez’ development

Joe Gomez of England smiles after an England Under 21 training session at St George's Park on August 30, 2017 in Burton-upon-Trent, England.
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Dave Davis is worried that Nathaniel Clyne’s extensive absence could take a toll on Joe Gomez and his development as a central defender.

Vauxhall’s Man of the Match and Neymar lurking somewhere in his back pocket. Wednesday night capped a meteoric rise in the last eighteen months for Joe Gomez and the Liverpool defender must now be in with a chance of a World Cup spot.

While the 20-year-old has enjoyed a decent start to the season, it’s an injury to another player that might just hinder him slightly.

Nathaniel Clyne has been ruled out for at least three months after recent back surgery. The former Southampton man’s injury has left an opening at right-back and Gomez has been the first choice replacement this season. Trent Alexander-Arnold has also seen action and netted a few for Jurgen Klopp’s side, but the former Charlton man has got the nod in the bigger games so far.

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In a recent Liverpool Echo poll, most fans voted Gomez at centre back as part of their first choice line-up when everyone is fit. That’s a testament to the potential and ability that Reds have seen, as much as a damning indictment of Dejan Lovren’s recent performances.

The issue may well become that Gomez won’t get time in his first choice position due to Clyne’s injury. How Gareth Southgate views the situation will no doubt be of equal importance to the London-born player.

Alexander-Arnold clearly has the edge in an attacking sense and a couple of goals and an assist this season surpasses Gomez’s single cross for Firmino against Arsenal. Despite his crossing ability though, from a defensive point of view, there are concerns against the Liverpool-born youngster as he continues to learn his trade.

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A player that’s moved from the England U21s to the full side so seamlessly is always more likely to get the nod in the bigger games.

Charlton may have earned a further £250,000 from Gomez’ international appearances this week, but it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on going forward. Time on the pitch is what the former U21 captain needs to develop his skills further and there are plenty of big games coming up for Liverpool.

Shining at centre-half as part of a back three in a defensive side is very different to playing right-back in a four that are expected to attack. Clyne’s injury robs Liverpool of their first-choice right-back just now, but it could be another player who suffers.


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