Gomez Liverpool move has shades of Shelvey’s switch to Anfield
Liverpool have captured another promising Charlton Athletic starlet this summer, with Joe Gomez arriving at Anfield for a reported £3.5m. The Addicks youngster’s career switch echoes that of former Reds signing Jonjo Shelvey, which didn’t run so smoothly as initially expected.
Brendan Rodgers has agreed a deal to bring this talented Charlton defender to the red half of Merseyside on a five-year contract, after activating the 18-year-old’s release clause, but such a switch holds familiar shades of Shelvey’s move between clubs in 2010.
After spells at both Arsenal and West Ham United youth academies, current Swansea City midfielder moved to The Valley where he flourished for four years, before spending two seasons within the senior set-up, eventually being lured to Liverpool (5/2 for top four finish 2015/16).
Arriving at Anfield for a substantial £1.7m, the Londoner held a promising reputation, having represented England at several youth levels, including captaining the Under-19s, and became Charlton’s youngest ever goalscorer with an FA Cup strike against Norwich City as a 16-year-old.
Despite showing moments of potential brilliance for the Reds, Shelvey’s three-year stay at Anfield consisted of a loan spell to Blackpool and many injury problems which halted his progression within Liverpool ranks, as he ultimately joined the Swans in 2013 for £5.5m.
Following in the same footsteps of Shelvey, new Reds signing Gomez will be aiming to make more of an impact on Merseyside, as the teenage England Under-19 starlet embarks on a new chapter in his short but sweet career.
Having graduated through the Addicks’ academy, making his debut for the Under-18s at just 13, Gomez has attracted interest from several top clubs in the country after 23 Championship appearances last term, with his versatility and stern defensive attributes making him a promising future England star.
The talented defensive unit can play as both at centre half and full back, giving reds boss Rodgers further options in his backline, and was part of the England Under-17 side that triumphed in the UEFA European Championship in that age bracket last year, also being voted in the team of the tournament.
Despite such a young age, Gomez possesses a composed nature on the ball when charging out of defence, becoming recognised as a ball playing centre back, and his dominant athleticism and aerial abilities rarely see him be outdone by frontmen.
The highly-rated defender will hope he can make a successful transition from Charlton to a top-flight club, and avoid a similar path to former Addicks prospects who have failed in doing so. Shelvey stumbled at Anfield, but another former Valley young gun Diego Poyet, son of previous Sunderland boss Gus, also struggled after departing Charlton, with the 2013/14 Addicks Player of the Year enduring a torrid time at his new club West Ham United.
Gomez has already been compared to former Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand due to his defensive style, someone he idolised growing up, but something he may want to keep quiet when he eventually becomes a full Liverpool player this summer (20/1 for 2015/16 PL title).