New signing Joe Gomez could be set for an unexpected start for Liverpool against Stoke on sunday as Brendan Rodgers lines him up to replace Alberto Moreno at left back.
The Under-19 England international was signed from Charlton in June and has had an emphatic pre-season for the Anfield club, featuring regularly at left back ahead of the unfit Moreno.
The spaniard missed their first two games through injury and has faced a struggle to oust the 18 year old ever since, and could be in line for a place on the bench for Liverpool's trip to Stoke City.
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His signature was expected to be followed with a loan deal, however Rodgers revealed earlier in the summer that no such deal would take place.
”Seeing him, in particular close at hand and his personality - he'll be staying, he'll get games,” The Liverpool Echo reported Rodgers as saying.
It now appears that this could be as soon as Sunday after the Liverpool Echo reported Rodgers as saying "I wouldn't have any issues. You've seen from my time here that irrespective of the age of a player, it's about the quality and personality. Whether they are 17 or 27, if I think they are ready, I'll play them.”
Spaniard Moreno penned a long term contract last summer at Anfield after signing for an initial £12 Million from Sevilla. He has since come under scrutiny after a number of shaky performances saw him commit four defensive mistakes last season.
At 23, Moreno has plenty of time to turn this around. Rodgers may be hoping the competition off Gomez, four years his junior, will be enough to spark Moreno’s flailing Liverpool career into life.
Gomez himself appeared unfazed at the potential of an early start against Stoke, the Mirror reporting “I just have to keep working hard to get in the team. That’s my aim to try and play at Stoke.”
“If I do start then I’m confident in my ability and I’ll do my best to help the team.”
Gomez only made his Charlton debut last August, against Derby but cemented his place in the team with performances that bellied his years. A natural centre back but equally adept at playing on the right side of defence. However pre-season has seen him feature at left back, looking equally at home.
Liverpool kick off their season on Sunday 4pm at Stoke.