With Dejan Lovren still absent due to his World Cup commitments and Joel Matip sent home from the US tour injured, Joe Gomez is the primary option to play alongside Virgil van Dijk in the heart of our defence.
The Englishman has predominantly been used as a right-back under Jurgen Klopp, for which he earned full caps for his country, but with Nathaniel Clyne returning to support Trent Alexander-Arnold in that position, Gomez may finally be allowed to compete for his favoured role.
The 21-year-old is expected to start alongside van Dijk this evening, with Liverpool taking on Manchester City in a pre-season friendly stateside, and we’re intrigued to see how gets on in what will be the toughest test of the summer so far.
Gomez has praised van Dijk and claimed to have an extremely good relationship with the world’s most expensive defender.
“He is a good guy, he was skipper at Southampton and is for Holland, and his presence is felt within the camp,” Gomez told the official website.
“I personally get on well with him, both in terms of what we’re into and banter-wise. He is a good guy and it’s a pleasure to play alongside him. Hopefully I can keep learning from him and keep progressing.
“As I said, we get on well off the pitch – he’s like my big brother. It’s a pleasure to play with him and it’s about learning from him. He is experienced, and I’ve got time to grow into that position [centre-back].
“I enjoy playing there; hopefully we can build and keep progressing together.”
With Lovren returning just before the Premier League begins, we have no problem whatsoever with Gomez beginning the term in the team.
He’s got the talent and like the Croat, could blossom with the wisdom and skill of van Dijk alongside him.
At the moment, all Gomez lacks is physicality and a proper aerial presence, but that will hopefully develop in time, as will his leadership and communication skills.
We fully understand though why Klopp isn’t buying a new centre-back and hope Gomez can prove the manager right.