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Joe Gomez hails Van Dijk and says he didn’t realise the stature of Liverpool FC.

  • Former Charlton Athletic defender says it's a pleasure to play alongside Dutch star Van Dijk.

  • The Liverpool defence has been key in extending their 25-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Van Dijk joined Liverpool from Southampton in January 2018 and quickly established himself as the best centre-half in England. [Getty]
Van Dijk joined Liverpool from Southampton in January 2018 and quickly established himself as the best centre-half in England. [Getty]

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has heaped praise on Virgil van Dijk, saying the Dutchman is currently "a dominant force" in the Premier League. England international Gomez, who sealed a move to Anfield in 2015 after one senior season at Charlton Athletic, is pleased and is relishing the fact he has formed a solid partnership with Van Dijk at the heart of Jurgen Klopp's defence, which is arguably the best in the league. While speaking to Sky Sports, Gomez said of the Netherlands international "I've said it before, but the stature of Virgil before he came to the club was massive. "I was a young centre-back, hadn't really gotten as many games [at Liverpool] as I would have liked but as soon as he came in, he reached out with open arms and we formed a bond straight away.

"The fact that he is a down-to-earth person off the pitch, we get on really well and we have a great relationship. "We talk and in times like this, we FaceTime and speak about general things so that helps on the pitch when you have an understanding. He's your mate at the end of the day.


"Sometimes he gives me an earful, but it's a massive help and a confidence booster just having someone like him beside you. When there's a one-on-one battle, you know he's going to dominate, he doesn't really lose headers at all. "Just having him alongside you and his presence, it's not just me, it's the whole team and the stadium. When Virgil goes down, I think there is a bit of a gasp and a worry but he's a real dominant force and a pleasure to play alongside."


Gomez says he never knew the expectations that came with signing for a club like Liverpool. "Football was all I knew and looking back, it was daunting," said Gomez. "It's a massive club and to be honest, I don't think I realised the stature of the club and what I was getting in to in terms of the expectation.


Former Chalton defender Gomez had to overcome injury problems to re-establish himself in the Reds' starting XI on Merseyside. [Getty]
Former Chalton defender Gomez had to overcome injury problems to re-establish himself in the Reds' starting XI on Merseyside. [Getty]

"But I think you have to take it head-on and you have to accept that when you don't perform, you have to take it on the chin and there's going to be backlash – not in the negative sense, but just through expectation. Around the club, it has such a strong history and you have to uphold that. "I think as soon as I went into pre-season, I realised the size of the club. I was used to staying in the UK and going for a training camp somewhere, but in my first Liverpool pre-season, we went to Thailand. We turned up to the hotel and it was ridiculous, security everywhere, and hundreds of people. Straight away from there, I realised. "We then flew to Australia and played against Brisbane Roar and the stadium was packed. That was the first time I heard 'You'll Never Walk Alone' and I thought, 'Yeah, this is a different scale.'"



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