Liverpool U23 boss Neil Critchley believes Joe Gomez can realistically target a place in England’s World Cup squad after impressing against Germany and Brazil.
Gomez was a surprise inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s squad for this month’s friendlies but the 20-year-old justified his selection with a solid performance on debut against Germany on Friday.
He then followed that up with a man-of-the-match showing against Brazil on Monday night as England held the visitors to a goalless draw at Wembley.
Gomez has enjoyed a meteoric rise to international football after recovering from a long-term knee injury earlier this year and Critchley, who oversaw his rehabilitation at Liverpool, insists the defender is good enough to secure a spot in Russia.
“I think you can see that when he’s doing these interviews after the Brazil game and he’s such a level-headed young man. He wants to improve. He’s got that hunger to get better,” said Critchley.
“It was a fantastic performance from him. I think we’ve played a really tiny part in that. It’s all down to Joe and himself in his own development.
“He’s very mature for his age mentally it seems. He’s ticks a lot of boxes, doesn’t he? You’ve just got to look at his all-round game.
“Probably the one thing that he hasn’t got is experience but if he keeps performing like he does on Tuesday night then the experience will come very quickly because he’ll be playing for Liverpool and England.
“I think Joe now has gone well past us [the U23s], hasn’t he? His ambitions and aspirations will be getting into our first team, staying in our first team and possibly now going to the World Cup – and rightly so.”