Liverpool are currently in a serious predicament that could have seen their Premier League title chances shattered. But for the holding champions, luck is on their side. Thanks to some fast, smart thinking from Jurgen Klopp and never-say-die attitudes from the players, the Reds have emerged from a crisis like a phoenix from the ashes.
Despite being without Virgil van Dijk for the rest of the season, Liverpool don’t look like they will be suffering any sort of long-term effects from this. Stand-in defenders Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams have delivered stunning displays when called upon, but one man in particular has gone above and beyond to keep the Anfield cogs turning.
In the absence of his partner, Joe Gomez has stepped up to the plate. He’s laced up his big boy boots and is keeping the Liverpool defence thriving. All three players to feature alongside him since van Dijk’s injury have looked comfortable in their roles, yet Gomez’s efforts have slipped under the radar.
Gomez showing his importance to Liverpool
Former Reds shot-stopper Chris Kirkland spoke to Football FanCast about the role the Englishman plays in the club and where he sees him as Klopp continues to drive them to success.
“Gomez has always been seen and always talked about as Virgil’s ideal partner,” the ex-goalkeeper said. “Them two playing for the next 10 years for Liverpool which I’m sure we will still see when Virgil obviously does come back.”
Whilst there’s a lot of competition nipping at his heels, Gomez is keeping his head down and showing to the manager why he is the man for the job. Although his leadership abilities often go unnoticed due to the huge personality of van Dijk, they are definitely there.
If Liverpool can secure back-to-back titles without one of their most important players, it will definitely change the way Klopp looks at Gomez. It will be impossible not to consider a future with him in the Liverpool defence.
The German already values the 23-year-old’s input, recently lavishing praise on him and branding him as a “sensational footballer”. But noticing talent and acknowledging a player is a key part of a team are two different things.
Gomez’s ability to keep this Liverpool defence together will be painting an image in both Klopp and Gareth Southgate’s mind. The £64million-valued centre-back is establishing a huge future for himself.
The post Exclusive: Chris Kirkland tips Joe Gomez to be Virgil van Dijk partner for “next 10 years” first appeared on FootballFanCast.com.