“It’s a dream come true. It’s a bit surreal and it hasn’t really hit me yet. But I’m buzzing and just excited to get started. The club has got great history, it’s a great club, and one that I’ve always been following from when I was young. The style of football and the top players… it was somewhere that I wanted to get better and learn, and play good football. It was an easy decision.”
It’s fair to say Joe Gomez is champing at the bit. A year on from winning the European Under-17 Championship in Malta – earning a place in the team of the tournament – and after 24 first-team appearances for Charlton Athletic last season, the 18-year-old has signed a five-year deal at Liverpool.
It’s quite the rise for a player who made his under-18s debut at only 13, and his professional one just last August. On the back of a fairytale ascent over the last year, it would be tempting to see the teenager’s move to Brendan Rodgers’ Reds as the next step in his unstoppable career progression.
But it’s never quite as straightforward as that. Leaving home at 18 is always a daunting prospect, not least adjusting to the move from south-east London to Merseyside. Then there’s the added pressure that comes with joining a side of Liverpool’s stature, in the knowledge that they’ve fought off Arsenal and Manchester United for your services. More than that, Gomez has the weight of recent history against him.