Daniel Sturridge has backed his former Liverpool team-mate Joe Gomez to become a world class defender in the future.
The 23-year-old formed a solid partnership with Virgil van Dijk last season as the Reds claimed their first top-flight title in 30 years.
Unfortunately, the pair recently suffered serious knee injuries and are both expected to be sidelined for an extended period of time.
Following a discussion about the toughest defenders he’s ever faced, including the world class Virgil van Dijk and all-time Premier League greats Vincent Kompany and John Terry, Sturridge backed Gomez to reach a similar level to those aforementioned centre-backs.
‘Training against Joe Gomez when I was at Liverpool, I was thinking, ‘ok, ok’,’ the ex-Liverpool striker said on The Beautiful Game Podcast.
‘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.’
Liverpool have suffered a near unprecedented number of injuries this season, with the likes of Van Dijk, Gomez, Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago and most recently Diogo Jota all spending time on the sidelines.
But speaking after the Reds’ 1-1 draw with Fulham earlier this month, Jordan Henderson admitted Gomez’s serious setback was especially hard to digest.
‘Injuries are really difficult as a player, I’ve suffered a few in my career so far, but when you seen team-mates getting injured, it isn’t nice,’ the Liverpool captain said.
‘Certain injuries that I’ve seen over the last few months, it isn’t nice. Especially Joe Gomez, the way that happened, was hard for me to take, really, in the manner it did.
‘It’s tough, it’s tough for players. I think it’s happened to a lot of other teams as well. It makes us stronger in the dressing room to keep on fighting, keep on going.’
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