Rio Ferdinand: Liverpool FC star will be England’s best defender

The Man United legend heaps praise on Liverpool FC defender Joe Gomez, backing the centre-half to become one of England's best

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Liverpool FC defender Joe Gomez Photo: New Balance

Rio Ferdinand is confident Liverpool FC star Joe Gomez will blossom into England’s best defender.

The 21-year-old has made a promising start to the 2018-19 Premier League season after Gomez developed an impressive partnership with Virgil van Dijk.

The former Charlton Athletic defender has helped Liverpool FC to keep eight clean sheets in their opening 13 Premier League games to highlight the team’s defensive improvement under Jurgen Klopp.

The Liverpool FC manager switched Gomez to right-back for the trip to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night after Trent Alexander-Arnold dropped to the bench.

Gomez acquitted himself well in the 2-1 loss to PSG in the Champions League clash but there is little doubt that centre-half remains the Englishman’s best position.

The Londoner has earned comparisons to England and Manchester United legend Ferdinand given Gomez’s confidence on the ball, reading of the game and his pace at the back.

BT Sport pundit Ferdinand is a big admirer of Gomez and is tipping the England international to blossom into one of the Premier League’s best defenders.

“A south London boy, loads of the kids coming through at the moment are from south London which is nice,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

“He had a big injury when he signed, he’s shown character and come back. It’s his first full season and yes he’s going to make mistakes positionally because he’s a young defender, young defenders do that.

“But the raw material that he’s got, the pace, the power, the desire, aggressive, very cool under pressure, great on the ball, plays off both feet.

“And his pace to make recovering tackles, if he does make a positional error, at the moment he has been able to get out of trouble with that pace. But this kid for me is on the march to be the best defender we’ve got in England. I rate him so highly.

“He’s calm, he’s cool, you need that when you’re under pressure. They are a unit and that’s what they’ve been missing at this club for a long time, a defensive unit that can be the platform to allow them to go on and be a success.

“I do (see similarities with myself) because he plays with a freeness, he’s fearless.”

Liverpool FC signed Gomez in a £4.5m deal from Charlton Athletic in the 2015 summer transfer window under Klopp’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers.

The Reds will welcome Everton to Anfield in the Merseyside derby on Sunday in pursuit of an 11th victory of the Premier League campaign.

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