Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has officially announced himself on the international scene this week after a brilliant performance against Brazil.
The 20-year-old raised a lot of eyebrows when he made his move from Charlton to Liverpool a few season’s ago, and it’s a gamble that has sure enough paid off now with the way in which he has developed.
Tim Sherwood believes so, and reckons the youngster is in fact Liverpool’s best defender at the moment.
Having only played 14 Premier League games so far, it’s a big statement by the former Spurs boss, but it’s one that is merited with how poor certain defenders have been so far this season.
“Normally you have to play for your clubs to play for England, but Gareth is doing it the other way,” Sherwood told The Debate.
“He knows the players better than their club managers know them, which is strange.
“He recognises the boys aren’t getting opportunities but he knows their good enough from working at the U21s.
“He’s having to put them in the England squad to embarrass those clubs, who will then put them in their starting line-up.
“Every young English player will be encouraged by the fact the manager is taking note if they perform. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t played 200 games – you can only play three or four.
“If you asked me who the best centre-half is at Liverpool at the moment, I’d tell you Joe Gomez. But is he going to get an opportunity to play ahead of some other players – I’d suggest he’s going to get limited game time.”
Former Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy agreed, and said that Gomez’s performance will have given Klopp a lot to think about.
“Gomez has put himself into a good position following these internationals,” he said.
“Liverpool supporters will be thinking they’ve got a player here. Defending-wise, he looks comfortable in a two or a three. But what I like about him is the pressure he puts on forwards – he was up against Neymar, who is an incredible footballer.
“But Gomez put good distances between him and the front players, plus he has pace to burn too. He looks like he enjoys defending which is rare in young footballers.”