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England’s newest hero rejected Premier League giants when he was 15

The defender opted out of move to Stamford Bridge due to lack of first-team opportunities

Joe Gomez is the talk of the town at the moment, after impressing on his England debut this week. 

The 20-year-old came on as a substitute in the goalless draw against Germany on Friday, before making his first start for the Three Lions against Brazil.


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And after successfully nullifying Neymar, the young defender’s stock is considerably high at the moment.

Respect

PA:Press Association
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Respect

Gomez – who joined Liverpool from Charlton back in 2015 – only has 14 Premier League appearances under his belt at the moment, but has been a fairly regular starter for the Reds this season.

But things could’ve been very different for him.

Gomez has found himself regularly starting for Liverpool this season

Rex Features
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Gomez has found himself regularly starting for Liverpool this season

According to the Telegraph, Gomez was faced with a career-defining decision when he was 15 – when Chelsea came knocking.

At the time, the Blues had already swooped for fellow Charlton academy starlet Kasey Palmer and wanted Gomez too, but the defender was convinced to stay at The Valley in a quest for first-team football – which he wouldn’t have been granted at Chelsea.

Chelsea were tracking the youngster when he was at Charlton

Action Images - Reuters
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Chelsea were tracking the youngster when he was at Charlton

Paul Hart, the former academy manager at Charlton, said he had to convince Gomez to turn down the Blues back when he was a teenager.

He said: “We didn’t want to hold him back, but we explained we thought it would be beneficial to stay longer, learn his trade and try to get in the first team, and then go.

“We had his mum and dad, and his agent along and they listened to what we said, trusted us and bought into it.“You try not to have favourites, but I was always very impressed with Joe.

“But he wasn’t the finished article and to play as a centre-back, aerially he had to get better.”


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The decision paid off, as by the end of the 2014-15 season, Gomez had made 24 appearances for Charlton and was attracting the attention of many big clubs across Europe – including Arsenal, Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig, as well as Liverpool.

A host of big clubs were tracking him after his breakout season with Charlton

PA:Empics Sport
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A host of big clubs were tracking him after his breakout season with Charlton

It must’ve been hard for Gomez at the time, especially after Palmer went on to win the UEFA Youth League with Chelsea.

But comparing the two now, it’s clear he made the right call.

Palmer, who’s currently on loan for a second successive season at Huddersfield, is still awaiting his Chelsea debut.

Who’d be a young player at Chelsea, eh?