- Joe Gomez speaks out on England debut
- Liverpool defender reflects on difficult journey
- Pays tribute to Charlton’s role in his development
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Liverpool fans will have been able to appreciate more than most what a special night it was for Joe Gomez on Friday.
The defender came on in place of Phil Jones in the 25th minute against Germany to make his England debut earlier than expected.
Gomez earned a surprise call-up to Gareth Southgate’s squad earlier in the week as a reward for his impressive form on Merseyside.
After enduring a tough time with injuries since signing for the Reds in 2015, Gomez has returned to action this season as a prominent figure in Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Gomez admits his mixed past couple of years made his maiden outing for the senior team an even more memorable moment in his career.
“It was special [making my debut],” Gomez told Charlton Athletic’s official website.
“It was a dream come true and something you always think about growing up and with me, coming from Charlton, it has been quite the journey.”
“Obviously, you have dreams as a kid but to come on a journey and develop as I have is something that I am very thankful for.”
Gomez also spared praise for the role of Charlton in helping him progress through the youth ranks and giving him the tools that eventually earned him the move to Anfield.
“For me, now, I just want to keep playing and hopefully this will be the first of many,” he added.
“Charlton’s academy has shown over the years how good it is with just how much talent it has produced. It has such a good infrastructure and chances are given to us young players to come through and play.”
After signing from Charlton for £3.5million, Gomez quickly earned a starting spot at left-back in Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool team.
A season-ending knee injury soon, however, cruelly disrupted his progress and eventually saw him miss much of 2016.
Things have since turned around for the 20-year-old, who has not only consolidated a place in Klopp’s senior team but also recently been named captain of England’s U21s.
Friday’s clash was the first for Gomez. It certainly won’t be the last.