- Jurgen Klopp believes Joe Gomez is ready to play centre-back
- Liverpool manager wants defender at club for rest of his career
- Gomez eyeing up central role having featured primarily as full-back this season
- SEE MORE: Liverpool given new hope in battle to keep Emre Can – reports
Jurgen Klopp is confident Joe Gomez is ready to feature as a central-defender in the Premier League.
The 20-year-old has arguably been Liverpool’s most reliable defender so far this season, posing as solid cover for the injured Nathaniel Clyne.
A series of composed and assured outings saw him receive a surprise call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad, subsequently leading to him earning a senior debut against Germany and producing a Man of the Match performance against Brazil.
His sparkling impression on the international stage has since triggered Reds to up their already determined requests to see Gomez deployed alongside Joel Matip at centre-back.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s clash with Southampton, Klopp was able to shed light on the faith he has in the former Charlton man.
Discussing whether he is prepared to play in the middle, the Liverpool manager told Sky Sports: “There is no doubt about that. Joe knows about his little issues but he is still a young lad.”
“He has to improve in a lot of parts but of course he is ready. He is a fantastic player.””He was injured in a time in his life when people are still growing and that is a medical thing. We want to have him for the next 15 years, hopefully.”
“Was he a professional player at Charlton? Okay, so he is not a one-team player but we want to have him here for a long, long time.”
“I want to use him. He is ready but he can play at full-back as well. That is very good for us.”
Gomez thrived alongside Harry Maguire and John Stones as part of England’s defensive trio, exercising the fierce pressing he has implemented at right-back for Liverpool whilst gaining valuable experience in a more compact central area.
With Dejan Lovren having endured a miserable couple of months and doubts still looming over Ragnar Klavan’s consistency, now could be the ideal time for Klopp to begin shifting Gomez into a role he admits is his favourite.
It would be interesting to see just how Liverpool would fare with Gomez utilised as centre-back alongside yet another exciting prospect in Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Having been so successful for Gomez in an England shirt, introducing a central-defensive back three could mark another intriguing option for Klopp.