Liverpool plan to keep Joe Gomez at the club "for the next 15 years" according to manager Jürgen Klopp, hinting that the Merseyside outfit plan to build around the young defender.
The 20-year-old continued his rise with a Man of the Match display on his full England debut on Tuesday night, helping to shackle Brazil's Neymar and co. as one of a three-man back-line.
That came just four days after earning his first cap for the Three Lions in reward for his performances at right-back for the Reds this season, having featured in nine of 11 Premier League games.
A long-term back injury to first-choice right-back Nathaniel Clyne has meant Gomez and Academy graduate Trent Alexander-Arnold have shared full-back duties with Gomez initially expected to be Klopp's third-choice centre half.
But injury to Joël Matip means Gomez could move centrally for the visit of Southampton to Anfield on Saturday and speaking at his pre-match press conference, Klopp spoke of the club's belief in the youngster's ability.
Gomez "ready" for centre-back berth
Asked whether Gomez might be ready to start at centre-back, Klopp responded: "Yes, no doubt about it."
He added that the No.12 "knows about his still existing little issues" because "he is still a young lad and he has to improve in a lot of parts", but said that "of course he is ready for it."
The German boss hailed Gomez "a fantastic player", continuing: "He played a lot in the season so we take care of him. He was injured in a time in his life when people are still growing and that's a medical [issue] kind of."
Klopp boldly declared: "We want to have him for the next 15 years, we want to have him here for a long time and use him. He's ready for [centre-back] but he can play as full-back and that's very good for us."
Gomez had originally appeared slightly heavy and slow upon his initial return from a year-long absence after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament, but after a rehabilitation programme returned much closer to full fitness in pre-season.
The defender even rejected the chance to represent England at the Under-21 European Championships in the summer to concentrate on his sharpness and is now reaping the benefits.
Following on from his first Premier League start against Crystal Palace in August, Gomez has quickly established himself as Klopp's first-choice right-back when without Clyne.
Though having made only 22 first-team appearances for Liverpool, it is clear that he has made a lasting impact on Klopp and the backroom staff at the club and he can expect to have a major part to play at the club over the coming seasons.