FanView: 7 Reasons Why Joe Gomez Could Be the Answer to Liverpool's Centre-Back Problems

Although Liverpool have received plaudits for their breathtaking attacking displays in recent seasons, a fundamental flaw is still prevalent that as of yet, looks set to remain unfixed. Liverpool's defence has been repeatedly scrutinised for costly individual errors along with sub-par collective performances. Question marks reside over the revolving door that is the goalkeeping situation, while Dejan Lovren in particular has been hounded out for criticism. Jurgen Klopp's summer business looks...

Impressive Early Season Form

Joe Gomez has started the season superbly for Liverpool, appearing in nine Premier League games so far out of a possible eleven. 


Playing at right-back, Gomez has given assured performances, making more tackles than any of Liverpool's centre-backs, even providing an assist with a delicious cross for a Roberto Firmino header in the 4-0 demolition of Arsenal in August.


His performances have not gone unnoticed after his man of the match performance against Manchester United, comfortably dealing with the pace of both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.


After the game, Gary Neville picked out the youngster for praise saying on Sky Sports: "To me, it was a really good performance. He has handled a very difficult game."

Indifferent Form of Usual Pairing

Liverpool's problems at centre-back have been well documented, but it is not a problem that has been exclusive to Jurgen Klopp.


Klopp's predecessor Brendan Rogers also had to deal with criticism for Liverpool's questionable defence, which ultimately cost Rogers and Liverpool of their first top flight title since 1990.


Lovren in particular has come in for some stern criticism this season, most notably his humiliating display in Liverpool's recent 4-1 hammering against Tottenham. 


This could pave the way for Joe Gomez to stake a claim as a centre-back. His performances at right-back have been underpinned by an appreciation for the fundamentals of defending - tackling, interceptions, reading of the game -  that appear to be somewhat overlooked in today's game. 

Different Attributes

Joe Gomez has many attributes that make him viable as a centre-back. Most evident are his physical qualities include his strength and quick turn of pace, something that the other Liverpool centre-backs are not particularly blessed with. 


What shouldn't be overlooked however is his quality on the ball. Only Joel Matip has made more successful long-passes than Gomez this season, as compared to Liverpool's other centre-back options. 


After the Manchester United game, Gary Neville told Sky Sports: "I think he could be a late charge for a World Cup spot...he's mobile, he's quick, he's good on the ball, he's solid."  

Leadership Credentials

Centre-backs are probably more aligned with the need for leadership than any other position on the pitch. As they can see the whole game at once from their position, it makes sense for them to wear the armband and set the standard for the rest of their team mates to follow. 


Announced as the England U21 captain in August of this year, Joe Gomez earned the opportunity to lead the side, notably playing as a centre-back.


Speaking to Sky Sports, England U21 manager Aidy Boothroyd said: "I've been really impressed with Joe and I've decided he will be captain. 


"I'm delighted he's been getting game time at Liverpool, that's exactly what he want. He's just one of those blokes who you think 'I could be in the trenches with you'."

International Recognition

Joe Gomez's impressive start to this season has led the 20-year-old to a deserved call-up to England's latest squad for the upcoming friendlies against Germany and Brazil, along with fellow U21 colleagues Tammy Abraham and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.  


In a squad that has seen players drop out at an alarming rate, this perhaps presents the chance for Gomez to gain vital experience on an international level.


Whether it is at right-back, centre-back or even at all, the experience of being around an international set-up can further enhance the education for Gomez to grow as a player. 


Watching (or even coming up against) the likes of Mats Hummels and Thiago Silva at Wembley in the coming days can certainly aid his development, as he looks to establish himself as a centre-back for both club and country in the near future. 

Other Options at Right-Back

Jurgen Klopp will be somewhat spoilt for choice at right-back once Nathaniel Clyne eventually returns from his back injury. The England international is one of three choices that Klopp has at his disposal to play as his right-back.


Alongside Clyne and Gomez, academy graduate Trent Alexander-Arnold has impressed since his emergence this season, most notably in the Champions League, where he has scored twice.


That being said, three does not go into one meaning Klopp has some big decisions regarding who plays, and which position. 


There is no doubt that Gomez deserves his place in the starting line-up, and with the quality Liverpool have at right-back, this presents a great opportunity to play Gomez in the centre.

Time on His Side

At the tender age of just 20, former Charlton starlet Gomez has many years playing at the top level for both club and country ahead of him.


Why there seems to be plenty of time for him to make the inevitable transition from right-back to centre-back, the sooner he makes the change the better.


Gomez could establish himself as a cornerstone for Liverpool as a centre-back for years to come, not only playing but leading from that position.


In a world where quality centre-backs defenders are hard to come by, Gomez could be the answer to Jurgen Klopp's conundrum for not only the future, but for the present as well.


Not bad for just £3.5m. 

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