Joe Gomez has quickly established himself as one of the finest central defenders currently in the Premier League.

After fighting against the odds to recover from several long-term injuries, the 23-year-old is now firmly Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice option to partner Virgil van Dijk.

It was fitting to see Gomez’s sensational campaign rewarded with the England international’s first Premier League triumph following Liverpool’s dramatic 5-3 victory against Chelsea.

Gomez has clocked up 42 appearances this season which is his best run of matches for Liverpool since his £3.5 million (BBC) move from Charlton Athletic in 2015.

He has been an unsung hero in a Liverpool team that has won the Premier League at a canter as well as smashing a home record that has seen 16 wins from 17 and 55 points from a possible 57.

Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JULY 22: Olivier Giroud of Chelsea and Joe Gomez of Liverpool battle for a header during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield on July 22, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Still learning

However, Gomez’s performance against Chelsea during Liverpool’s 5-3 victory was far from perfect and it showed that even despite his undeniable talent, there are still areas of improvement for the defender.

His positioning was called into question on a few occasions and Gomez fell victim to the genius of substitute Christian Pulisic who left several Liverpool players – including Gomez – in his wake to assist Tammy Abraham for Chelsea’s second goal.

Moments later, Gomez didn’t cover himself in glory when he collided with Van Dijk to allow a Chelsea counter-attack which was duly punished by the irresistible Pulisic.

While it is indeed a critical outlook on a player that has been utterly outstanding this season and a character who has brushed off numerous injury woes to epitomise Klopp’s definition of a ‘mentality monster’, it showcases that Gomez is far from the finished article.

Liverpool supporters are desperate to see Gomez return to his best next season…

 

A mainstay for the next decade

On numerous occasions, particularly during the Christmas run-in where Gomez was part of a defensive unit that registered seven consecutive clean sheets, Gomez was faultless.

He has even surpassed his defensive counterpart and close friend Van Dijk with his performance levels on a number of occasions.

It’s also worth reflecting that Gomez has had to consistently play without any defensive cover since Project Restart due to the recent injuries of Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-CHELSEA-TROPHY

(L-R) Liverpool’s English defender Joe Gomez, Liverpool’s Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk pose with the Premier League trophy during the presentation following the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on July 22, 2020. – Liverpool on Wednesday lifted the Premier League trophy at the famous Kop stand at Anfield after their final home game of the season. With no fans able to attend due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Liverpool said the idea for the trophy lift was to honour the club’s fans, but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp urged fans to respect social distancing measures, after thousands gathered around the club’s stadium and in the city centre following their coronation as champions last month. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Gomez has had to remain injury-free since October and since he reinstatement into the starting XI back in December, he has missed just one PL match (Watford (A)).

At just 23, Gomez has showcased a maturity beyond his years this season and is firmly amongst the best central defenders in the English top-flight.

Off the evidence of his performance against Chelsea, all we really learnt was that Gomez, more than some of his teammates, is in desperate need of a rest.

He is one of the club’s longest-serving players despite his young age and has proven he could be a defensive certainty for the next 10-12 years.

Rest up, Joe, you’ve been exceptional and we’ll see you again next season.

 

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