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.
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…
Joe Gomez just ain’t the same player he was before the lockdown!!! #LFC
— Jamie Cater (@cater87) July 22, 2020
Joe Gomez has won all of these trophies at the age of 23
Harry Maguire has never won a major trophy in his career….
Please never compare my cb to that fridge again pic.twitter.com/bmrZQllcRQ
— 19 Times (@LFCLiverbird96) July 22, 2020
Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk, best CB partnership in the world btw
— n (@dotnathandot) July 22, 2020
JOE GOMEZ PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPION WE MADE IT
— . (@CM__Josh) July 22, 2020
Joe Gomez needs a break.#LFC
— j (@zacjibin) July 22, 2020
Ngl Pulisic rubbished my boy Joe Gomez but hopefully he learns from this
— Mons (@KaiserVirtuoso) July 22, 2020
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.
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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