Joe Gomez is easily one of the most under-appreciated players in the Premier League. He displays maturity and calmness beyond his years, with him turning 23 later this month.
But Gomez has always been ahead of his peers, making his under 18 debut at just 13.
Perhaps what is most impressive is at a stage in his career where many are still learning their trade, Gomez has had extended periods in three positions. Brendan Rodgers deployed Gomez at left back when he was first signed.
Klopp has played the Englishman in his preferred centre back, but there have been times when he has covered for Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right defensive flank.
Quick off the mark, powerful in the air and calm under pressure, it’s hard to see a weakness in his developing arsenal. It’s clear that the influence of Virgil van Dijk has brought him on leaps and bounds too.
The Dutchman’s plaudits have overshadowed his progression, but it is in fact the pair that have stabilised Liverpool defensively. Liverpool have never lost when the played together at centre back, conceding only 11 goals in 2,661 minutes.
But Gomez has a better tackle success rate than the man many consider the best defender in the world.
Gomez hasn’t lost a game in the Premier league since January 2018, conceding just five goals in 19 games this season. It is hard to believe Liverpool acquired his talents for as little as £5 million. He will surely be one of Southgate’s starting centre back for the foreseeable future, with the likes of Stones and Maguire still failing to live up to their lofty price tags.
It could be argued that Gomez and Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings are England’s best partnership. Mings has impressed in a disappointing Villa side this season, being linked with a moved away from Villa Park.
Liverpool and England fans needn’t worry about his character either. The 22-year-old has already gotten over an ACL injury, making his current form even more impressive.
Many players have never been the same after such injuries. Perhaps the biggest testament to Gomez’s character came earlier this season.
After a scuffle with Raheem Sterling in a game between Liverpool and Manchester City, the pair reported for England duty. Sterling reportedly confronted Gomez, scratching him in the face, as Sterling refused to bury the hatchet.
Days later Gomez was booed in Wembley stadium as the suspended Sterling watched from the stands, later taking to social media to defend his Three Lions teammate.
Gomez still has many years ahead of him for development and improvement. At 23, he is still being years away from the peak of his career.
He has quite the honours list already. He has UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup medals already.
It looks only a matter of time before he gets his hands on a Premier League medal. Liverpool are built for long term success, with Gomez is capable of being a mainstay on Merseyside. His trajectory thus far suggests the only way is up.