Liverpool are in the midst of a mini defensive crisis at the minute. Jürgen Klopp is down to his last two centre backs: Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. With Dejan Lovren sidelined without a prognosis and Joel Matip still absent from the squad we are stretched incredibly thin in defence. At the weekend we saw that Joe Gomez can step up to the plate, he has to start every game in the New Year if he maintains the form that he showed against Watford.
It was a hard fought win at the weekend. We came up against a spirited and resolute Watford defence. The Hornets were clearly galvanised by the appointment of Nigel Pearson – the visitors were brave on the counter.
A lot was asked of Joe Gomez and he more than delivered. As the game wore on he grew into it. There were some nervous moments in the first half but he was impressive when it mattered. With Ismaila Sarr breaking towards Alisson Becker, we saw JoGo rush across and make an inch perfect tackle to keep the scores level.
This was the performance that we needed from the 22-year-old. Before a tragic leg break against Burnley last season we were treated to an impassable Gomez/Van dijk defensive partnership. Joel Matip took Gomez’s place in the side and never looked back.
With Joe Gomez threatening to return to his best form he simply must start every game going forward. As impressive as Matip was when in the side, it is much more valuable to us in the long term to nurture the boundless potential of Joe Gomez.
If the Englishman can cement his place in the side, learning from Virgil van Dijk as he goes, we could have a partnership for the ages on our hands.