Joe Gomez: Brendan Rodgers a defining factor behind my Liverpool transfer

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Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has been talking about the reasons behind his decision to choose a move to Anfield, allegedly ahead of other Premier League rivals like Manchester United and Arsenal.

The Charlton Athletic academy graduate attracted interest from a host of top-flight suitors when it became apparent he was planning to leave The Valley this summer, and the Reds successfully won the race for his signature.

Gomez caught the attention of both Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger according to the Daily Star, but it was Brendan Rodgers who he opted to link up with after being bowled over by the Northern Irishman during their first meeting at the Merseyside club's Melwood training base.

Speaking to Liverpool's official website following his £3.5 million move - which officially goes through when the transfer window reopens on July 1 - the Championship starlet spoke positively about the club's credentials and the opportunity to forge a successful career.

"I had my mind set on Liverpool and tried not to let the talk of other clubs distract me," he explained. "I didn't really focus too much on anything else.

"I met him [Rodgers] and that was a defining factor. He was positive and has already shown he will give young players an opportunity.

"I thought carefully where would be the best place and give me the best chance to play - it was Liverpool.

"I can understand Charlton fans wanting me to stay another year - that it would be best for me to develop - but I'm ambitious and want to keep learning. Going to Liverpool was hard to turn down.

"My family came up with me because they all had a part to play. They supported me. I wanted them to be there because they have helped me a lot."

The 18-year-old is one of five new faces already recruited by Liverpool in what is proving to be a very busy summer, following the free transfer captures of James Milner, Danny Ings and Adam Bogdan.

Rodgers also secured the services of Brazil international Roberto Firmino, who will arrive from Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in a reported £29 million deal once he's finished participating in the Copa America in Chile.

Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne is also expected to be officially unveiled this week, as the Reds prepare a renewed push towards the Champions League places in 2015/16 after missing out on a top four spot last term.

Gomez will probably find it difficult to establish himself in the Liverpool first-team straight away but the talented young centre-back has high hopes about the long-term future.

"I understand it is a massive club and a step up from where I've been playing," added the former Addick. "There are a lot more challenges but I'm going in with the aim to challenge for a place, regardless of age.

"I want to prove myself, take this opportunity with both hands and try to play. There is going to be a bigger spotlight but I've got to thrive under that and use it in a positive way."

After an impressive breakthrough campaign in south east London the England U19 international will now be looking to prove he has what it takes to succeed at the top level, and what better place to do that than at one of the country's most illustrious clubs.

Liverpool fans: How excited are you about seeing Joe Gomez run out at Anfield? Do you think he has what it takes to become an important first-team star under Brendan Rodgers? Have your say below...

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