Joe Gomez’s seamless adaption to senior international football came as no surprise to Ragnar Klavan.
Having been appointed England U21s captain in August, Gomez joined the full Three Lions squad for their Wembley friendlies against Germany and Brazil this month - just reward for his consistently impressive displays for Liverpool this season.
An assured 65 minutes versus Germany was followed up with a man-of-the-match performance in Tuesday’s goalless draw with Brazil, and Gomez is now back at Melwood preparing for the Reds’ clash with Southampton this weekend.
His teammate Klavan is, of course, no stranger to international football, with the centre-back having amassed well over 100 caps for Estonia.
And 32-year-old has spoken warmly about Gomez’s ability and the manner in which he handled the challenge of playing against the sides currently placed first and second in the FIFA world rankings.
“I’m really pleased. He’s a really nice guy and really, congratulations to him,” Klavan told Liverpoolfc.com.
“It’s well deserved and I could see already when I came last year that he’s eager to learn and he’s training hard, doing the extra work and this is the key to make those steps forward and I’m really happy for him.
“No [his performances didn’t surprise me]. He’s a good guy, he’s a really good player.”
Gomez’s full England debut came almost a year to the day since he made his return following two long-term injuries in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Melwood - and Klavan was full of praise for the way the 20-year-old has progressed in the aftermath of such a testing period in his young career.
“Especially with those injuries that he had, he was a long time out and I think this also made him mentally more stronger and this is a good thing, to have a good mentality and be strong, to keep on fighting and keep on training and you see those rewards are coming,” he stated.