Joe Gomez’s outstanding early-season form is a result of his personal drive to improve and dedication in training, according to Trent Alexander-Arnold.
After ankle surgery towards the end of last term prevented him from participating in the Champions League final or the World Cup with England, the 21-year-old has featured in 10 of the Reds’ 11 games so far this campaign.
Gomez has mainly been deployed at centre-back alongside Virgil van Dijk, where his coolness, composure and defensive diligence have won plenty of plaudits.
And having witnessed his application daily at Melwood, Alexander-Arnold isn’t surprised by the standard of displays of his club and international teammate.
“He’s showing this season he is a top player,” he told Liverpoolfc.com during a recent chat at the club’s training ground.
“At a young age, he’s one of the best in his position in the league. That takes some doing, so that’s credit to him especially with the setbacks he has had.
“He has an immense hunger and drive to keep succeeding, going forward and getting better. You see that every day in training with the way he applies himself.
“The relationship he has forged with Virgil has really helped him. He probably looks up to Virgil as a bit of a role model. It’s like he’s a mini-Virgil at times!”
Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez in action during the recent draw at Chelsea
Gomez’s form has helped Liverpool to the joint-best goals against record in the Premier League so far this season.
Only Manchester City can match the Reds’ miserly three conceded in the top-flight after eight matches.
“There’s probably a bit more of a difference from last season in terms of how we’re defensively organised,” Alexander-Arnold said.
“We’re not conceding as many goals and we’re still getting results, sometimes grinding them out.
“A win is a win at the end of the day and we’ve shown this year we can win in different ways.”
Opta data indicates Liverpool have faced just 21 shots on target so far in the Premier League.
Alexander-Arnold feels that just three of those have resulted in goals shows the impact another man is making at the back – summer signing Alisson Becker.
“The messages the manager gives us and the way we defend as a team is front footed,” he continued.
“We don’t want to concede too many chances and we haven’t so far this season, but when the ‘keeper has been called upon, Alisson has made some world-class saves and shown he is a world-class ‘keeper.”