Liverpool's Joe Gomez appointed England U21 captain

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Joe Gomez believes there is a clear pathway to progress from the England U21s to the senior side

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has been appointed the new captain of the England U21 side.

The 20-year-old takes over the armband from Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse, who is now too old to compete for England U21.

Gomez has started the season in impressive form for the Reds - featuring in four of the club's five games so far this campaign, including last weekend's emphatic 4-0 win over Arsenal.

England U21 boss Aidy Boothroyd has hailed the leadership qualities of Gomez as he looks to build a squad for the next European Championships in Italy and San Marino in 2019.

"I've been really impressed with Joe and I've decided he will be captain," said Boothroyd.

Joe Gomez
Image: Gomez has been in impressive form for Liverpool at the start of the new season

"I'm delighted he's getting game time at Liverpool, that's exactly what we want. He's just one of those blokes who you think 'I could be in the trenches with you'.

"He's won at U17 level, he's well respected in the group so he will be the one. I've told the players already that he will be the captain, but the leadership group around that has yet to be decided."

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England finished joint third at the European Championships in Poland this summer, although Gomez played no part in the tournament after he requested not be considered in an attempt to fully regain his fitness after a long-term injury.

That decision has seemingly paid off for the Liverpool youngster, who has now worked his way back into Jurgen Klopp's plans after 15 months out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Joe Gomez of England in action  during the European Under 21 Qualifier match between England U21 and Kazakhstan U21 at Ric
Image: The 20-year-old defender has only recently returned from a long-term injury

"I was really disappointed Joe couldn't come in the summer but I totally understood why and I think it says a bit about him that he did that," said Boothroyd.

"To get his big move from Charlton and then get injured so early on while away with us but to come through it on the other side and get back into Liverpool's first team shows he's certainly very mature.

"He's coped with it very well and shown he's a little bit more worldly-wise than the other boys. He's a real good sort and he's exactly what you'd want as a captain."

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