Liverpool chief scout Barry Hunter is the man the club must thank for the signing of Joe Gomez from Charlton Athletic, according to the Times.
The newspaper claim today that the recruitment specialist “put in the hard yards to steal a march on Liverpool’s rivals and set in motion” the £3.5million transfer that brought the defender from London in the summer of 2015.
The Times report Liverpool’s best defence in a decade is built upon improvements put in place on the training ground as well as signings at both ends of the transfer market.
Ex-Northern Ireland international Hunter was prised from Manchester City in the summer of 2012 at the same time as Dave Fallows, the club’s head of scouting and recruitment, as the building blocks were put in place for the behind-the-scenes overhaul that is paying such dividends on the pitch. Certainly, match-attender, information-gatherer and detailed report writer Hunter deserves much credit for ensuring Liverpool won the race for Gomez three-and-a-half years ago before Jurgen Klopp had even arrived at Anfield. The defender was a precocious 17-year-old at that point and made a quick early impact under Brendan Rodgers before injuries held him back. Nothing is holding Gomez back any more. He impressed at right-back last season, rotating the position with Trent Alexander-Arnold, and has taken his game to a whole new level in his favoured centre-back role in the current campaign. For club and country, Gomez has been brilliant and Liverpool have much to be grateful to Hunter for.