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Salah wins BBC African Footballer of Year

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Liverpool U23 boss hails 'mature' Joe Gomez after fine England debut

LIVERPOOL -- Joe Gomez has been praised for his maturity by Liverpool under-23s boss Neil Critchley after impressing on his senior England debut this week.

Gomez earned the Man of the Match award for his performance in the 0-0 draw with Brazil at Wembley on Tuesday.

The versatile defender has been a regular for Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side this season, and Critchley believes he will develop even further with more first-team opportunities.

Speaking ahead of Liverpool U23's derby against Everton on Saturday, Critchley said: "He's very mature for his age mentally, it seems.

"He ticks a lot of boxes, doesn't he? You've just got to look at his all-round game.

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"Probably the one thing that he hasn't got is experience, but if he keeps performing like he did on Tuesday night then the experience will come very quickly because he'll be playing for Liverpool and England.

"That's what some young players are missing and they just need that opportunity. Hopefully that continues."

Critchley took charge of the U23s at the start of this season and has not worked directly with Gomez.

He said he hoped that remained the case because it would mean the former Charlton trainee has become an established player in the Liverpool first team.

"I think Joe now has gone well past us, hasn't he?" Critchley added. "He's got man of the match for the full senior team at England.

"His ambitions and aspirations will be getting into our first team, staying in our first team and possibly now going to the World Cup -- and rightly so.

"Speaking to all the staff and seeing him from afar on the other side of the pitch, everyone was really impressed with him as a boy just as much they were as a player.

"He's such a level-headed young man. He wants to improve. He's got that hunger to get better. It was a fantastic performance from him.

"I think we've played a really tiny part in that, but it's all down to Joe in his own development."

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.

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