Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has talked up teenage addition Joe Gomez as a first-team player for the 2015/16 campaign, despite links with a loan move away from Anfield.
The 18-year-old arrived on Merseyside from Charlton Athletic in a £3.5m deal just a matter of weeks ago, but, due to his age, a loan switch away from the club has been mooted to aid his development.
However, Gomez has started both of the Reds’ pre-season wins so far, against the Thailand All Stars and the Brisbane Roar, and has impressed in these outings.
His performance at the Suncorp Stadium against the A-League side earlier today was particularly notable, with the England U-19 defender deployed at left-back, not his natural centre-back position.
He thrived in the role, and after the game Rodgers talked up Gomez’s performance and revealed that he will be a first-team player for the coming campaign:
“A big plus tonight was young Joe Gomez,” he is quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
“I’ve seen him at centre-half and at right-back but I wanted to see him at left-back and I thought he was outstanding.
“Joe will stay with the club this season. I’ve already seen enough in this period.
“With young players I bring them in and I judge them over the pre-season period and seeing him close at hand and his personality he will be staying, he will get games.”
Rodgers went on to say that Gomez’s impressive start to life at Liverpool means that there will be no need to buy another centre-back this summer:
“I think we’re fine for centre-halves,
“We’ve got the two boys who started (Skrtel and Sakho) and then Lovren and Toure.
“Young Gomez can play in there too so we’re fine in that area. Joe played a lot of his career at Charlton in the middle.