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Watch: Joe Gomez Continues Unexpected Rise, Stars in Nike Football Ad

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The timely release of a Nike Football Young Athlete ad chronicles the defender’s rise to the Liverpool first team.

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Liverpool’s embarrassing 4-1 dismantling at the hands of a hobbled Tottenham side at the weekend has brought on a period of soul-searching at the club. From the customary criticism from ex-players and head-hanging from current squad members, to murmurs of escape plans and examinations of the range of root causes—it has been a tough week for Reds fans and it’s only Tuesday.

Center back Dejan Lovren has been at the center of the backlash, with what was arguably his worst showing in a Liverpool shirt coming in for particularly severe scrutiny. Humiliatingly substituted in the 31st minute, the Croatian, in the eyes of some, unofficially ceded his starting spot to Joe Gomez who acquitted himself well for the rest of the match.

Now, with Lovren as the current focal point of criticism of the club throughout the fanbase, and with the soon-to-be 32-year-old Ragnar Klavan not truly a viable option, the spotlight seems to be falling on young Gomez to step into the starting center half role, at least until badly-need reinforcements can be brought on in January.

In the midst of this turmoil, a fortuitously-timed Nike Football ad hailing the 20-year-old’s rise through the ranks has recently been released. The nearly three-minute feature chronicles the Charlton Athletic academy product on his journey through the football third tier up to his signing for Liverpool and captaining of the England U-21 team on the international stage.

Now, on the cusp of unexpectedly breaking into the Liverpool first XI more than six months before his 21st birthday, Gomez gave some insight into his personal goals and what the whirlwind process has been like for him:

“[Playing for Liverpool] was a dream come true really and something that I never imagined coming true, growing up in south east London.

“My aspirations for the future—I want to be the best I can be. I want to keep learning and pushing myself each day.

“A dream of mine would be to represent my country at a World Cup. For any young, aspiring footballers like myself, I’d definitely say hard work is the key.”

Watch the video in its entirety below: