Gomez: Left-back a ‘stepping stone’ to centre-back

Date published: Saturday 5th September 2015 12:40

New Liverpool full-back Joe Gomez is happy to play at left-back at Anfield, but ultimately sees himself as a central defender.

The 18-year-old, who arrived from Charlton in the summer for a fee of £3.5million, has been an ever present in the left-back slot for Brendan Rodgers so far this season. Gomez – a centre-back at Charlton – signed a five-year deal and was expected to be sent out on loan by the club in a bid to get him up to speed with life in the top flight, but he impressed Rodgers so much in training he was handed a chance in the first team.

He started at left-back in the club’s first pre-season game against the Thai All Stars in July and impressed in the following fixture with Brisbane Roar and has been a permanent fixture for Rodgers ever since. He made his England Under-21 debut at right-back in the win over USA Under-23s in midweek, but he has yet to feature in his preferred central role this term.

“Obviously I’ve been chopping and changing with left-back and right-back but either way it has positives,” Gomez told the Liverpool Echo.

“Being on the left means I can come inside on my right foot but both positions are helping me with my awareness. At the end of the day I see myself as a centre-back and in years to come that is where I hope to play. At the moment I just have to learn and be grateful to play where I can and use it as a stepping stone to be the best centre-back I can be.

“I know I am still young and people can be wary of putting in young players, especially at centre-back.

“But the gaffer at Liverpool is good at managing young players and giving me advice so hopefully I will get my opportunity to play at centre-back

“At the moment, though, I am happy to be playing. Just training every day with the world-class players that are there is helping me, and I am learning off them.

“The likes of Gareth [Southgate], Brendan back at Liverpool – they are all good to learn from. I think I am in the right place to learn, and hopefully I can keep moving forward.”


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