If Newcastle United secure the signature of Liverpool centre-back Joe Gomez, the versatile Englishman could develop into a new Nathan Ake under manager Eddie Howe.
What’s the latest on Newcastle’s interest in Gomez?
Gomez’s agent Haydn Dodge recently told CaughtOffside that the Magpies have been interested in the 25-year-old for a while and are ready to make a summer move to bring him to St James’ Park.
“It is quite well known that Newcastle United have long admired defender Joe Gomez as they look to bolster their centre-half options ahead of several players being out of contract this summer.”
With PIF seemingly about to offer sporting director Dan Ashworth significant investment to strengthen the squad over the summer, Gomez – at a reported £40m – would be a signing with Premier League and Champions League experience who is remarkably flexible who could thrive under Howe’s tutelage in a similar way to Nathan Ake at Bournemouth.
Can Gomez replicate Ake’s impact under Howe?
While Gomez has struggled with injuries over the past few seasons, there is no denying his quality when fit – as shown by being hailed as “exceptional” by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
However, it’s not just his defensive ability that could make him an excellent addition to the Newcastle squad, but his versatility.
Gomez has the ability to play both centre-back and full-back, making him a valuable asset to cover for any injuries in the back-line as well fighting for his own starting spot.
At Liverpool, he has often been used as a centre-back alongside Virgil van Dijk, forming a formidable partnership at the heart of the defence, playing 28 league matches in the 2019/20 campaign as the Reds won their first league title in nearly three decades.
However, he has also played at right-back for the club, showcasing his versatility and adaptability.
This is where the comparison with Nathan Ake arises.
Ake, who was signed by Howe during his time at Bournemouth in 2017, became known for his ability to play both centre-back and left-back, which allowed the Cherries to utilise him in different formations, giving the team greater flexibility and options.
The Magpies boss described him as having “outstanding attributes” (via the Irish Independent) during their time working together.
Ake’s impact on the South Coast was underlined by Manchester City paying £40m to secure his services in 2020, where he has gone on to win two Premier Leagues and is currently having his most integral season yet at the Etihad.
Now, if Dan Ashworth can bring Premier League winner Gomez to Tyneside, the Catford-born star’s flexibility would prove invaluable as the Magpies look to move into the next stage of the PIF project.