After trading Charlton Athletic for Liverpool last month, everyone expected Reds defender Joe Gomez to go out on loan after getting some much needed game-time during the clubs busy pre-season tour schedule, but after the Anfield outfit ran out 2-1 winners against A-League side Brisbane Roar, it sounds like the promising center-back has got a vastly different future on his horizon.
The 18-year old, who was attracting interest from a number of Premier League clubs before Liverpool swooped in with a bid believed to be in the region of £3.5mil, would have been a serious contender to not only help a lower league side gain promotion, but also give you a serious leg-up in your forays into Championship betting. It looks like Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has a different plan though with the Northern Irishman keen to give him a shot in the top-flight after a pair of impressive performances.
“He’s staying,” was his emphatic response when asked in his post-match press conference whether or not Gomez would be sent out on loan to gain first team experience. “I’ve seen enough in this period; you judge young players, I always bring them in and over pre-season have a good idea of whether we’re going to keep them or not,” continued the Liverpool manager, before confirming that the youngster will feature in his plans for the first team for the coming campaign. “Seeing him, in particular close at hand and his personality – he’ll be staying, he’ll get games.”
This, of course, brings into question the future of Tiago Ilori. Despite the fact that the Portuguese defender put together a number of outstanding performances at the u21 European Championship earlier this summer, his future remains uncertain. After spending last season on loan with French side Bordeaux, this looked to finally be the year that the 22-year old staked his claim on Merseyside after moving from Sporting Lisbon two years ago, but it now sounds like they’ll be a bit more competition than expected with the likes of Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Kolo Toure and now Gomez vying for a spot in the heart of the defense.
Then again, Rodgers has never been one to hold his tongue and the 18-year old could very well go out on loan with Championship side Derby County apparently interested in bringing in him. Liverpool will be looking to return to the top four after a frustrating campaign saw the Anfield outfit fall well short of expectations last season and though they’ll also have their Europa League commitments to take into consideration, there may not be room for a player that’s so young and lacking in crucial experience at the level the Northern Irishman will need his players to be competing at. We’ll see if he’s still around come the end of August or if this was just another case of the Reds boss getting a bit too excited too soon…