Martin Keown believes that Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has the potential to be every bit as good as his more illustrious defensive colleague Virgil van Dijk.
Gomez had never started a Premier League match at centre back before this season, but injuries to Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip forced Jurgen Klopp to move the 21-year-old into the middle.
He has performed admirably, keeping his second consecutive clean sheet with a confident and resilient showing in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Monday.
Keown claims that he always thought Gomez would make a good centre back, and believes that the young Englishman will only keep improving.
"At 21, Gomez is six years Van Dijk’s junior but he is starting to display the same impressive traits," wrote Keown in his Daily Mail column.
"Since he broke into the Liverpool team, I have been crying out for Jurgen Klopp to move him into the middle.
"Given his sheer size and physicality, I thought that if he could play that well at right back he would make a wonderful central defender.
"Gomez has the ability to be just as good as Van Dijk."
Gomez made 23 Premier League appearances for Liverpool last season and earned his first three caps for England, but an injury late in the season ruled him out of the Champions League final and the World Cup.
He will hope to continue his promising form when Liverpool host Brighton on Saturday.