Dejan Lovren has taken time to laud his team-mate Joe Gomez, the 19-year-old returning from a lengthy injury.
The former Charlton prospect arrived at the club last summer and shone so brightly in pre-season that he earned himself a spot in Brendan Rodgers’ starting XI.
Sadly though, a devastating injury means he’s yet to feature under Jurgen Klopp, who’s been in charge for over a year.
“It was a really tough year for him,” Lovren told Liverpoolfc.com.
“I was looking at him every day throughout the year he couldn’t play. He showed so much strength – his mentality was blowing me away.
“He was always positive about everything. He was definitely disappointed but he never stopped believing. It was so good to see him back on the pitch.
“The most important thing for him now is to keep his fitness. He’s coming back and hopefully he will have some games this year.
“I remember when we played with him last year – the first three games he played, he was amazing. He had an amazing start. This guy is so strong, he’s just 19. He is unbelievable. He can be a top player.”
It says a lot about the closeness of Jurgen Klopp’s squad that Lovren is speaking so highly of someone who when fit will directly compete for his place in the side…
Gomez’s talent is enormous and his long-term future is at the heart of our defence. When he eventually wins a spot in the team is uncertain and it may be the case that while experienced players like Lovren, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan are occupying defensive roles, Gomez may benefit from a loan spell.
He proved at the beginning of last term that he’s good enough to start for other Premier League sides, but they may be unlikely to risk consistently playing a teenager, so it could be back to the Championship for the regular game-time he needs after over a year out.
(Transfer fee via BBC Sport)