Friday, August 12, 2022

Whelan Tips Aston Villa To Recruit This Liverpool Centre-Back: What Will He Add To Gerrard’s Side?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with Football Insider, ex-Leeds United forward Noel Whelan has tipped Aston Villa to recruit Liverpool centre-back Joe Gomez. Whelan said,

“He’s (Gomez) a fantastic player, and still very young.

“He’s done really well for Liverpool, it’s not his performances which has seen him out of the team – it’s the quality of his colleagues.

“If he’s available that would be an exceptional signing for Aston Villa. We saw the frailties against Chelsea on Sunday. Mings was really weak when defending Lukaku, and Konsa made a terrible choice to bring him down.

“He’d give Gerrard an extra option and the existing players that push, and he could even play him in a back three if he were to change his system.”

Gomez’s Frustrating Season At Anfield Thus Far

Gomez has endured another injury-ravaged campaign at Liverpool as he has been sidelined for a lot of games due to injury. The English defensive ace has only featured in ten matches for the Reds this season, receiving 426 minutes of game time in all competitions.

The London-born talent has seen most of his playing opportunities come in the Carabao Cup but has failed to impress based on his average of 0.7 tackles, 0.3 interceptions and 2.3 clearances per game in that competition so far. Still, Gomez deserves credit for being accurate with ball distribution after making 88.5% of his attempted passes in the EFL Cup (stats via whoscored).

Aston Villa (Joe Gomez)
PRESTON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 27: Joe Gomez of Liverpool battles for possession with Sean Maguire of Preston North End during the Carabao Cup Round of 16 match between Preston North End and Liverpool at Deepdale on October 27, 2021 in Preston, England. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)
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What Will Gomez Add To Aston Villa Boss Steven Gerrard’s Side?

Gomez can be a solid presence on the defensive end of the field when he is playing regularly and with confidence on the field. He is a solid tackler of the ball and can sense the danger quickly to secure the ball back for his side.

The English centre-back can make himself big when trying to block a goal-bound shot from the opposition and is usually composed when in possession of the ball. However, frequent injuries have derailed his Liverpool career, so the player might benefit from a change of scenery this winter or at the end of this campaign.

We can expect Gomez to add a lot of quality and depth to Steven Gerrard‘s defensive department. At 24, the Reds outcast has his best years ahead of him which makes him a worthy target for the Villans to pursue next year. Having said that, there are some concerns over Gomez’s injury record, so the West Midlands outfit would be taking a risk if they decide to move in for him in the future.

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