Gomez eager to take England opportunity
Joe Gomez has already taken his chance at club level this season - and the Liverpool defender is determined to do the same on the international stage over the coming week.
An impressive start to the season with the Reds earned Gomez a first call-up to England’s senior squad last week, with the 20-year-old available to Gareth Southgate for the Three Lions’ prestigious Wembley friendlies against Germany on Friday and Brazil four days later.
News of his inclusion in Southgate’s squad delighted Jürgen Klopp, who labelled Gomez a ‘wonderful young player’ who is ‘ready for this, no problem’.
And Gomez, who found out about his call-up while en route to training at Melwood, has spoken of his pride at being selected while also outlining his eagerness to play himself into contention for next summer’s World Cup.
“It means a great deal to me. It’s obviously been a dream of mine to represent my country at senior level and it was a surprise, I wasn’t expecting the call-up, but it was great news for me and my family and all those close to me. It’s a dream come true, really,” he told the media at St George’s Park.
“This is my first call-up and it’s a great opportunity to play with the best players from all around the country and I’m looking forward to it.
“For me personally I just have to be confident with myself, I think. I think it’s a balance of knowing my ability but also trying to learn. I have to look ahead towards the future and I still understand that I’m a young player and I’ve got a lot to learn.
“I’m aware that it’s a big opportunity to try and show that I’m capable of playing at this level and obviously I aim to do that but at the same time I’ve just got to try and enjoy it, try and take the pressure off myself at the same time.
“But I am aware that it’s a big opportunity for me, especially leading into next year’s World Cup and obviously I have to try and strive to be involved in that. But I think I’ve got to take it as it comes really and just enjoy my football.”
Gomez has made 12 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool this season - nine of those games coming in the Premier League - with Klopp primarily fielding him at right-back.
Having come through two injury-affected campaigns, the former Charlton Athletic youngster is understandably relishing the chance to play regularly.
“It’s been good for me to get the games so far this season, I’m enjoying playing regular football. It’s been at full-back, which is one of a couple of positions that I like to play and it’s been good,” he said.
“We have an attacking style of play, a pressing style of play, obviously with the attacking presence in the team sometimes I’ll play a more defensive role.
“But I’m just looking to try and focus on my role here, whatever that is, and try and learn from Gareth and all the coaches here and adapt to playing their style of football.”