26 Aug 2015

Aldo raves: 'Exceptional' powerhouse can be a 'future star' at Liverpool. £24m cheaper than Luke Shaw? Nice.

What a turnaround (!) After conceding twenty goals in the final ten league games last season, Liverpool have started this season with three clean sheets in a row, and look more defensively solid than at any time during Brendan Rodgers' reign. £6m summer signing Joe Gomez has played his part in Liverpool's defensive revival, and according to Reds legend John Aldridge, the 18-year is destined for big things at Anfield.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo this week, Aldo enthused:

"This summer's signings are already making a positive difference, and in Gomez we've found a potential future star. Okay, [he] has made one or two mistakes, but that's understandable given his young age".

Gomez - hailed by Jason McAteer as 'exceptional' - is a (defensive) upgrade on Alberto Moreno, but it's early days yet, and it's dangerous to start fanning the flames of unrealistic expectation.

Brendan Rodgers does enough of that for everyone, and he's already labelled Gomez 'outstanding' on several occasions.

The last thing Gomez needs is to be overhyped. As a comparison, just look at the Jordon Ibe situation.

* After a few decent performances (but no end product) last season, Rodgers labelled him 'sensational'; 'outstanding'; 'brilliant', and 'terrific'.

* Pressure-inducing headlines were created on the back of those descriptions, and expectations went through the roof, with fans building Ibe up to be a potential superstar.

* As this season shows, though, Ibe is not at the level many fans expected, and there's a palpable sense of disappointed amongst at the youngster's failure to deliver the goods.

This is what happens when fans have unrealistic expectations, and the sycophantic gross overpraise of young players is (arguably) to blame.

Gomez should just be left to get on with his development, and Rodgers, pundits, ex-players etc should force themselves to curb their irresponsible, counter-productive fawning.

On a related note, I love the fact that Liverpool paid just just £6m for Gomez, whilst Man United splurged £30m on Luke Shaw.

* Gomez has settled in straight away, but it took Shaw - who is 2 years older - a year to nail down a regular starting place

* The price difference is gargantuan, and even though Gomez is not a left-back, he is doing just as good a job as Shaw, who is allegedly worth £24m more than Gomez (Nonsense, obviously).

I do love it when Man United get ripped-off in the transfer market; it makes a refreshing change to Liverpool constantly being fleeced, and in this case, if Gomez knuckles down and focuses on his development over the next few years, he has every chance of usurping Shaw in the England team.

Author: Jaimie K


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