Joe Gomez is a defender who has “it all” and is the next in line in becoming a leading player in his position in the mind of Daniel Sturridge.
The duo were teammates at Anfield up until Sturridge departed in 2019, spending four years together after the ex-Charlton defender joined the Reds in the summer of 2015.
Aged just 18, Gomez switched London for Merseyside under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers where his Liverpool career started at left-back before a move to the opposite flank and finally to his preferred place at centre-back.
Gomez has trained alongside the likes of Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino at Liverpool and as such has had no shortage in honing his craft alongside the very best.
While injury has disrupted the beginnings of a promising career, Gomez is still just 23 and already has 121 first-team appearances for the Reds.
At times under-rated and under-appreciated from outside Liverpool’s four walls, Sturridge was full of praise for his former teammate and the bright future which awaits after having had discussed the talent of Premier League greats Virgil van Dijk, John Terry and Vincent Kompany.
“I speak to Joey G, he’s going through an injury right now, and I’ll be like don’t lose the faith. You’re a world-class player,” Sturridge told The Beautiful Game Podcast.
“Training against Joe Gomez when I was at Liverpool, I was thinking ‘ok, ok’, you know what I’m saying.
“I’m trying to twist you up, alright cool, you’re strong, alright cool yeah, you’re fast yeah, you’re not afraid to be dirty, you’ve got it all.
“You look at him and you think yeah he’s next. He’s going to be in that class you can see it, he’s going to be in that class down the line.”
It’s been a road of unfortunate injuries for Gomez having not had any luck come his way, with the latest bump in the road being a knee injury while with England back in November.
The club are hopeful of a return before the season is out and as Sturridge noted, the key is always to hold on to the desire to strike back and come back better.
Gomez will know more than most in regards to the physical and mental battle that comes during rehab, but his talent is unquestionable as his former teammate, who trained day in and day out, speaking highly of him shows.