Saturday 22 October 2016

Rodgers: Joe Gomez will get his chance at Liverpool next season

New Liverpool signing Joe Gomez is impressing already
New Liverpool signing Joe Gomez is impressing already

Teenager Joe Gomez will have a chance to make his mark at Liverpool next season after Brendan Rodgers confirmed the defender will not be loaned out.

The 18-year-old is one of six signings Rodgers has so far brought to Anfield this summer, moving from Sky Bet Championship side Charlton.

Gomez only made his senior Addicks debut last August but having impressed on the Reds' pre-season tour of Australia, Rodgers is confident the versatile defender can contribute to his side right away.

"He's staying," the Northern Irishman told a press conference after a 2-1 victory over Brisbane Roar.

"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.

"Seeing him, in particular close at hand and his personality - he'll be staying, he'll get games."

Gomez was deployed at left-back as goals from Adam Lallana and James Milner guided Liverpool to a 2-1 success at the Suncorp Stadium.

Rodgers revealed he had wanted to see the versatile defender on the left-hand side but believes he can slot him into numerous positions because of his adaptability.

"He's only 18 years of age, but seeing him play at left-back for the first time, he looked an outstanding athlete and a really good footballer," Rodgers added.

"I've seen him at centre-half and at right-back, but I wanted to see him at left-back - and I thought he was outstanding."

Former Manchester City midfielder Milner, another new recruit, was also singled out for praise after his 75th-minute strike sealed the victory against Brisbane.

Like Gomez, Milner has often been utilised in a variety of different positions but Rodgers selected him in his preferred central-midfield berth.

"We wanted more goals from midfield and you see James, that was the idea because when he plays in a central area he can really penetrate the box," he said.

"He got in a number of times, had a couple of shots that went close and then he got his goal. He's a top-class operator and I think playing in this team and at Liverpool he'll probably shine even more."

Milner's move away from City was partly motivated by his frustration at being seen as a utility man.

But Rodgers thinks the finest form of the England's international's career came when he occupied the middle of the park at Aston Villa and sees a big role for him in the post-Steven Gerrard era at Anfield.

The Liverpool manager added: "He has played at right-back, wide on the left, wide on the right, as a striker, a midfield player - you always want players like that in your squad, but as a player you want to play in your favourite position.

"Probably the best season James ever had was at Aston Villa playing as a central-midfield player. He's going to be huge for us and working close at hand with him I can see why he's regarded as a top-class professional."

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