Tuesday 5 March 2024

Former Addick destined for England slot

Extracts from an article in The Times yssterday:

Gareth Southgate will name his latest England squad next week, with Luke Shaw, Marc Guéhi and Trent Alexander-Arnold among those expected to be missing.

If he is looking to offset all of those absentees in an instant, then one name in particular should be scribbled on his squad sheet: Joe Gomez.

Whether at left back, centre back, right back or, even latterly as a midfield No 6, Gomez has been exemplary for Liverpool this season, his ability to adapt to whatever role is asked of him without quibble making him a manager’s dream.

Southgate has always been a huge admirer of Gomez only for serious injury, firstly with the under-21s and then the senior squad, to thwart his desire to make him a cornerstone in his plans.

This season, he has made 17 appearances at right back, 14 at left back, four at centre half and now two starts in the centre of midfield.

Klopp said last week that Gomez had “saved our lives 20 times” this season given the number of injuries that have left his squad depleted. That Klopp saw the potential in Gomez — the only player whose arrival at Anfield, in summer 2015, pre-dates that of his manager — to come into midfield speaks volumes of his natural talent.

The only thing Southgate would not be getting by recalling Gomez is goals. The former Charlton Athletic youngster, who moved to Merseyside for a bargain £3.5 million nine years ago, is still searching for the first in a career spanning 234 appearances.

The sound of the Anfield crowd imploring him to “shoot” whenever in the opposition half has become an irritation, though Klopp is hoping for the moment to arrive before he leaves in the summer. He has even promised to pay Gomez’s wife, Tamara, money should he break his duck and is now considering letting him take a penalty.

No comments:

Post a Comment