Joe Gomez set a pace that made him the 11th fastest in the Champions League last season. This comes from the latest UEFA Technical report.
UEFA released their technical report for the 2019/20 Champions League on Monday. They go over the details of the campaign, revealing the sometimes subtle differences between teams.
One such detail is in player fitness, which includes a chart of the fastest players in the competition. The highest Liverpool player on the list? Joe Gomez, whose pace was the 11th fastest in the Champions League.
Gomez clocked a speed of 32.99km/h with one of his sprints against Atletico Madrid. That placed him fractionally above then-Lille forward Victor Osimhen at 32.98km/h.
Just above Gomez, at 33.01km/h was a player Liverpool will face in their Champions League group this season – Atalanta’s Luis Muriel. The Italians actually feature two players inside the top 10, with defender Hans Hateboer recording the 3rd-fastest sprint.
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As for the fastest, it was Kylian Mbappe. The Frenchman recorded an unbeatable 33.98km/h in the final against Bayern Munich.
Really, though, we should compare Gomez to other centre-halves. His pace had him second in that regard, with only Lukas Klostermann finishing higher – 2nd overall, with 33.82km/h.
Liverpool clearly have a special talent on their hands, then. Gomez is absolutely rapid and – on this evidence – one of the fastest elite defenders on the planet.
That lends itself wonderfully to Liverpool’s style. They’re a high-pressing side that deliberately leaves space behind their defence, forcing teams to play long. With Gomez there, he’s able to sweep up those long balls and negate the pace of opposition forwards.
The fact he’s doing this at 23 is special, then. He shouldn’t dramatically lose his pace any time soon but he will get better and better at reading situations and positioning himself.
It suggests that before long, Gomez should put it all together to become one of the world’s best. He’s got all the tools and is already playing at a high level, Liverpool just need to stick with him.