Football

Joe Gomez enjoying full-back role at Liverpool

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Joe Gomez admits he's relished the chance of playing left back for Liverpool in the early stages of the 2014/15 season.

Gomez signed for the Reds for £3.5 million from Charlton Athletic and chose Anfield over a host of top European clubs including Borrusia Dortmund.

Out Of Position

At just 18-years-old Gomez was expected to be a fringe player in Brendan Rodgers' side this season however as started all four top flight games at left back. Previously, the Catford-born defender has insisted his best position is centre-back and modeled himself on Rio Ferdinand growing up.

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However, Gomez has impressed playing full back and earned himself a call-up to Gareth Southgate's England Under-21's squad to face USA Under-21's. The teenager is likely to continue at left back when he returns to Liverpool from international duty and is more than happy to do so.

“I’m just trying to learn and constantly challenge myself," Gomez told TheFA.com. “I prefer being somewhere when I’m a bit out of my depth and need to challenge myself.

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“At Charlton, I was playing at right-back so I suppose it’s similar but it is a bit different being on my weaker foot. But, it’s all helping me. I’d like to play centre-back eventually in the coming years, but it helps me positionally to play as a full-back.

“And I’m enjoying it, getting up and down the wing and it’s been good.”

Early Form

Gomez had a strong pre-season during Liverpool's tour of the Far East and Australia and made a bold impression on his manager.

Alberto Moreno moved to Anfield from Sevilla for £12 million last summer; however, his maiden campaign at the Merseyside outfit was given mixed reviews and his defender attributes are suspect.

Gomez has offered much more stability than Moreno on the left hand side of defence and has proved he is mature beyond his tender age. Whereas Moreno often gives wingers far too much room out wide, Gomez smothers attackers and gives the opposition limited options.

Despite having made just 21 appearances for Charlton, he has grabbed his opportunity by the scruff of the neck and become a valuable member of Rodgers' team.

Future

Whereas left back is his current position, Gomez will have aspirations of playing in the heart of the defence sooner rather than later.

Both Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel were unconvincing in Liverpool's 3-0 loss against West Ham United at Anfield last weekend - the former especially - and another poor performance could well see either or both out of the firing line sooner rather than later.

Rodgers has been reluctant to use Mamadou Sakho this campaign with the Frenchman included in just two of the opening four match-day squads, likewise Kolo Toure who is probably fourth string.

With Tiago Ilori moving to Aston Villa on a year long loan deal, Gomez could get a chance in his favoured position in a Europa League match or in the Capital One Cup and, with an impressive performance, may make the role his own.

Can Gomez establish himself as a Liverpool regular? 

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Topics:
Football
Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool
Premier League

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