Gary McAllister has praised how quickly both Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez have settled in at Liverpool and believes it looks like the pair have been at the club "for a long, long time."
After two disappointing seasons defensively Brendan Rodgers made it one of his main aims to improve his back-four over the summer. Nathaniel Clyne signed from Southampton for £12.5million and Joe Gomez joined for £3.5m from Charlton Athletic.
The duo have already become indispensable members of the Liverpool starting XI at right and left full-back and played every minute of the Reds' opening three Premier League games.
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Both Clyne and Gomez have added much needed stability to a Reds' back-line that has been fiddled with far too much in recent campaigns and McAllister, who took over as first-team coach from Mike Marsh earlier this year, has hailed the two young stars.
“I think they’ve done extremely well," the former Scotland international told Liverpoolfc.com.
"For two guys that have just arrived at the club, where the expectation level will be way above what they’ve experienced before, they already look as though they’ve been here a long, long time.
“The fortunate thing is Liverpool have got them right at the start of hopefully what can be long, long careers here.
“You don’t want to put pressure on players. Nathaniel obviously has already made it through to the international set-up and Joe Gomez has in the younger age groups, but they both look as though they go on to play [regularly] at that level comfortably.
“They’re keen to learn and very young – age is on their side, definitely.”
From their opening three matches Liverpool have as many clean sheets and it reflects the improvements over the summer.
In the back-end of last season the Reds were conceding goals left, right and centre. Four went in against Arsenal away, three against Crystal Palace at home and Stoke City shell-shocked Liverpool when they struck six past them on the final day of the campaign.
Towards the end of the 2014/15 season, Liverpool were getting penetrated down the wing. Emre Can filled in at right-back but his inexperience in the position meant that the opposition were constantly targeting him and the German could not cope.
Clyne has now added much needed solidarity on the right-hand side of defence. He was arguably the Premier League's best right-back last campaign at Southampton and, for £12.5m, he looks a bargain. His defensive duties are faultless and he too thrives when getting forward on the right-hand side.
Meanwhile there weren't many who expected Gomez to be a regular at Anfield. After just one season playing first-team football at Charlton, where he impressed mightily, most felt that he made a big future at Liverpool, but in years to come.
However, after a solid pre-season, Rodgers put faith in the England youth international and started him on the opening day of the season against Stoke City.
He was up against the tricky and experienced Jonathan Walters that day but Gomez matched the Ireland international throughout the game and has continued to progress since.
Liverpool fans, do you think in Clyne and Gomez the Reds have the makings of a formidable defensive? Let us know in the comments box below.
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