Liverpool completed the £3.5m signing of Charlton Athletic youngster Joe Gomez two days ago (via BBC Sport), but many fans referred to the number of young central defensive failures in recent seasons as a reason not to get overly excited about the capture…
Jamie Carragher mentioned the number of talented defenders we’ve signed in the past decade who’ve failed to make a proper Anfield impact, but hopes that Gomez has the ability to buck the trend.
“With him (Gomez) being able to play right-back and centre back, it means there will be question marks now over Andre Wisdom’s future and having been on loan for the last couple of years I’m sure he will want regular football,” Carragher wrote on his Kicca column, mentioned here in the Echo.
“There has been plenty of young defenders signed over the last decade or so for Liverpool who’ve never quite made the grade (Gabriel) Paletta, (Sebastien) Coates, (Danny) Wilson, (Daniel) Ayala, (Mikel) San Jose and (Tiago) Ilori who still has time to change that.
“It basically comes from a lack of game time but crucially not taking their chance on the rare occasions they were chosen.”
It’s revealing to hear the list of names Carragher reels off her. Of those mentioned, Paletta and San Jose have become full internationals, but crucially, not during their times at Liverpool. This proves that they were indeed talented, but for whatever reason, they couldn’t maximise their potential with us.
Under Brendan Rodgers though, Gomez has as good a chance as any. While many things can be thrown at our manager, he can only be applauded for the manner in which he handles youngsters. Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe have both come through under his guidance, and Jerome Sinclair and Sheyi Ojo are not far behind.
If Gomez is good enough and works tirelessly in training, Rodgers will give him a chance.
Let’s hope Carragher is right, and the prodigal defender can indeed develop his undeniable ability with us, and not someone else.