Former England defender Rio Ferdinand believes Liverpool’s Joe Gomez can overcome a turbulent week and end up a top player at Anfield in the years to come.
The 22-year-old clashed with Raheem Sterling while on international duty, and was treated with boos by some England supporters as he came off the bench against Montenegro at Wembley Stadium on Thursday night.
However, Ferdinand has tipped the centre-back to react positively and earn his place in the Liverpool team.
Speaking to JOE, the six-time Premier League winner said that this period was a test that Gomez must come through in order to show he has what it takes to make it at the top.
He said (via Live4Liverpool): “Listen, Joe Gomez is going through a sticky patch at the moment but young players have to understand that they’re going to get that.
“Even for the elite players that make it, there’s going to be down times and negative times in their career. Can you deal with it?
“Have you got the mental capacity, have you got the tools to deal with these type of things?
“Gomez is going through that now but he has all the attributes to be a top player.
“He’s shown over good periods of his career at Liverpool that he looks a top player that can come in, in a few years.”
Ferdinand certainly holds some promise for Gomez, though the defender has already shown at Liverpool he can hold his own in the Reds backline.
Prior to his long-term injury layoff last season sustained at Burnley in December, Gomez was a regular of the Liverpool side that would go on to push champions Manchester City all the way last season – with Joel Matip ably taking over in his absence.
Therefore, concerns about his Liverpool aspirations should not be too alarming, despite the Cameroonian holding on to his position, and Dejan Lovren deputising in Matip’s place through an injury of his own in the current campaign.
The immediate priority should be the defender’s wellbeing after being subject to negative treatment from his own fans, despite supposedly being the victim of an attack from Three Lions teammate Sterling.
The weeks to come should show how he is coping, but it seems unlikely this ‘sticky patch’ will do much harm to his Liverpool career.
Can Joe Gomez regain his starting spot?
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