Alex Rogers discusses the likelihood of Joe Gomez cementing his spot in the Liverpool starting lineup.
Last Sunday was amazing. Just simply incredible. After three months of no Premier League football and Liverpool dismantle a team like they did was like seeing an old friend. There aren’t many teams in the world, if any, that could’ve competed with the way we played the other day.
Everyone played sublimely with Milner and Mané really shining along with Keita and Robertson. But another player that is less talked about and didn’t grab many headlines is Gomez.
The young defender was starting over the injured Lovren (which is a different topic in of itself) to partner Van Dijk and got himself a clean sheet. Gomez has been a great prospect for us in recent years but has dropped off somewhat a bit in the eyes of the fans.
When Clyne was injured, he and Alexander-Arnold were battling it out for that starting right back role which, over the course of a few months, Gomez missed out on due to amazing performances from Trent and hardly featured for us at all by the end of last season.
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However, it seems that Gomez finally has a shot in his preferred position. Centre-half. With Lovren apparently out for up to three weeks, this is the perfect chance to make himself undroppable.
He has the potential to be amazing, that’s never been disputed. The guy is only 21! But we can’t give him merit for being reasonably good at a young age, no, he needs to earn his place as a starting centre back and he isn’t exactly lacking competition.
He has to compete with a World Cup finalist in Lovren and one of the best defenders in the Premier League, if not the world in van Dijk.
So if he’s gonna be a starter for us, he has to work for it. Also with a more experienced defender in Matip and a rising star in Nat Phillips, competition is heavy.
As much as Gomez has a great amount of support from the fans, is it really feasible to trust that he will evolve into the world-class player we so desperately want him to be instead of delving into the market to just handpick a world class defender? Maybe. Maybe not? Only time will tell but these next few weeks will be very telling.
As I said at the start, Gomez needs to become undroppable. If Sunday is anything to go by, he certainly could become the new regular starter to van Dijk. However, he’s going to have to do perfectly to dislodge Lovren. Let’s be real since van Dijk has come in, Lovren has been colossal.
At the end of the day, it’s very unlikely that Gomez is going to be one of our regular starting centre backs for the whole season, let’s be realistic. But if last season taught us anything, young players can surprise you.
A year ago, hardly anyone outside of Liverpool knew about Alexander-Arnold. Now the whole footballing world knows his name.
Maybe, just maybe, Gomez can replicate his teammate’s success this season. Let’s just wait and see.