Despite being tipped to be immediately sent out on loan following his move from Charlton Athletic last month, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been tipped to hand a Premier League début to youngster Joe Gomez when the Reds travel to Stoke City on the opening day of the campaign.
“It was nice to get selected against Helsinki but there’s still a long way to go and a lot of work to be done between now and Stoke,” the 18-year old told the Liverpool ECHO when asked about his prospects of making the starting eleven. “I just have to keep working hard to get in the team. That’s my aim to try and play at Stoke,” he continued. “If I do start then I’m confident in my ability and I’ll do my best to help the team.”
Gomez may be a central defender by trade, but Rodgers has deployed him on both flanks during pre-season and the youngster has come through with flying colours, impressing no matter where he’s playing. With fellow new recruit Nathaniel Clyne almost certain to start on the right, it sounds like they’ll be no room for Alberto Moreno — a player with far more experience — with memories of the Spaniard’s horrific performance during the 6-1 thrashing at the Britannia Stadium still fresh in the memory.
“I always like to try and stay as relaxed as possible. I do obviously feel pressure but that mainly comes from myself and wanting to do well,” explained Gomez. “I’ve settled in really quickly and a lot of that is down to the manager, the staff and all my team-mates making me feel so welcome,” he added. “They have made me feel comfortable and I’m enjoying my football here,” continued the youngster before expressing his willingness to play wherever the boss wants. “It’s been great for me to get experience playing all along the back four as that helps me to play in numerous positions. I’m happy to play wherever the manager needs me.”