Liverpool defender Joe Gomez produced yet another masterclass in the art of defending as the European champions once again got the better of their Merseyside rivals Everton.
Jurgen Klopp made nine changes – that included three Liverpool teenagers – to the team that beat Sheffield United on Thursday. The FIFA Coach of the year was also able to hand three debuts to the likes of Takumi Minamino, Nathaniel Phillips and substitute Yasser Larouci.
Curtis Jones struck an extraordinary winner to ensure Liverpool’s unbeaten Anfield run against Everton remained with the Blues winless at the Reds’ fortress home ground since 1999.
Times pundit Tony Cascarino was someone in particular who couldn’t hide his admiration for the inspiring Gomez who showcased his leadership as well as defensive qualities to ensure Liverpool’s young guns got over the line on Sunday.
The former Chelsea star wrote in his weekly column: “There is no stopping Liverpool and one of the unsung heroes of their charge towards honours is Joe Gomez. Returned from injury, the defender is back to his best. I predict a massive year for him.
“When he was sidelined through injury Joël Matip and Dejan Lovren got in front of him in the pecking order. Not any more. He is so quick, so strong and getting better on the ball. His one and two-touch play is beginning to rival Van Dijk’s.
“I believe Gomez will be celebrating being the regular starting centre back with Harry Maguire for England at Euro 2020.”
Gomez 22, made his seventh consecutive start for the Reds following injuries to Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip. The Englishman has helped inspire five consecutive Premier League clean sheets and alongside debutant Phillips was able to keep a full-strength Everton side at bay.
What RTK has to say
Gomez has been flawless since being recalled to the regular starting XI. The England international is finally starting to replicate the irresistible form of last season before breaking his leg back in December 2018.
The former Charlton Athletic defender has showcased why he will be Liverpool’s long-term defensive option for years to come and why he is currently the best central defender Gareth Southgate has at his disposal.
It’s one thing to shine alongside the best defender in world football, but to dominate in a team that has so much inexperience is a credit to the gargantuan rise Gomez has undergone since his £3.5 million move in 2015.
Klopp recently stated that momentum is the key factor behind his team selections and considering Gomez’s outstanding form, even with the future returns of Lovren and Matip, neither will be able to rival the Liverpool youngster following his outstanding performances.