By 90Min
November 16, 2017

For Liverpool fan's, it's becoming slightly embarrassing that the club are yet to solve the defensive crisis that has existed ever since the departure of Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger. 

Martin Skrtel was the warning sign that shaky defending was on the horizon, but now they've gone full on banter at the back. 

Comical performances from Dejan Lovren; inconsistent mistakes from Alberto Moreno and a seemingly forever injured Nathaniel Clyne have left the Reds with little hope or skill at the back. 

Joel Matip has provided a slight glimmer of hope, although the Cameroonian will always struggle when surrounded by the players Liverpool currently possess. 

David Ramos/GettyImages

However, one thing that may be a little more embarrassing than their defence is their actions in last summer's transfer window. 

The apology sent to Southampton for 'tapping up' Virgil Van Dijk spelled the end of their attempts to sign their number one target, despite the player openly claiming he wanted the move. 

Klopp signed Andy Robertson instead, who has, rather unfairly, only been given two Premier League starts since his arrival. 

Unfortunately, Luis Suarez isn't up front to bail the Reds out with wonder goals anymore. The SSS front line that nearly won Brendan Rodgers the league have separated and instead, Klopp's side rely on new signing Mohamed Salah to bag for them. 

But one man can't hold that burden alone. But in a young England international, Liverpool may have just found the first piece in rebuilding their defensive puzzle.

Joe Gomez joined the Reds back in 2015 after impressing as a teenager during his time at Charlton Athletic. He made 21 appearances in his only season for the first team, but the maturity he showed playing at both right-back and centre-back were enough for Klopp to hand him a five-year contract. 


Ever since his arrival, Gomez has again been played at the two aforementioned positions, although he has made it clear that playing in the middle of defence is where he feels most comfortable. 


A major injury to Nathaniel Clyne has meant he has played at right-back for the most part of this season, but that could be about to change. 

Clive Rose/GettyImages

Gomez made his international debut for England as a substitute for the injured Phil Jones last weekend. His performance helped the Three Lions keep Joachim Loew's side quiet, as the game ended 0-0, and also earn him his first start for his country in the following game against Brazil. 


The 20-year-old lined up in a back-three alongside John Stones and Harry Maguire - with manager Gareth Southgate looking to experiment with his side following qualification to the World Cup next summer. 


Gomez & co managed to keep out the likes of Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and club-mate Philippe Coutinho to seal yet another 0-0 draw, earning him the Man of the Match award. He looked composed all game in one of the hardest international tests he will face, signalling that he is ready to step it up to become Liverpool's number one centre-half. 

The Reds face Southampton this weekend and other than Clyne, all of their defenders are fit again. Lovren is back from his injury and will be raring to go after helping Croatia qualify for the World Cup, but based on Gomez's performance on his first England start, he has to start at centre-half. 

Klopp can rely on Trent Alexander-Arnold to hold his own at right-back, freeing Gomez up to move more central. Pairing the 20-year-old alongside Joel Matip gives them a better balance of power, finesse and leadership at the back, and the Reds will need all three traits to keep out Southampton's potentially tricky front-line. 

 

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