Fifa 21 was released later than usual this year, hitting the shelves all the way back in October 2020 as the football world recovered in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped Electronic Arts (EA) continuing to pump out more and more diverse cards on their online Fantasy multiplayer game mode, Ultimate Team. With players continuing to sink hundreds upon hundreds of hours worth of gameplay into the game mode, we thought we would take a look at the surprising name currently boasting the crown as Fifa 21’s most popular Ultimate Team player: Liverpool’s Joe Gomez.
A Competent Player With An Injury Ravaged Season
It might not be a name that holds the kind of star quality weight some players might have expected to see, but Liverpool’s Joe Gomez is currently sat as Fifa 21’s most popular pick on Ultimate Team, beating out competition from the likes of fellow Liverpool team mates Alisson (90), Virgil Van Dijk (90), Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane (86) and Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante (88).
The England defender began the season as a Premier League and Club World Cup champion, appearing 43 times over the course of the 2019/20 season under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. A competent ball playing defender, Joe Gomez is capable of being deployed in either full back position but is at his most comfortable when at centre-back. In Fifa, he has multiple versions that represent this diversity in positions.
He frequently jostled with Joel Matip as the partner to Virgil Van Dijk in Liverpool’s backline, though his 2020/21 season (like most other Liverpool defenders it feels) has been ravaged by injuries. Whilst on national team duty with England in November, Gomez suffered a tendon injury to his left leg after just twelve appearances for Liverpool over the course of the campaign.
According to reports, Fifa agreed to compensate Liverpool with upwards of £2 million in wages for Joe Gomez’s recovery from his season ending injury.
Popularity On Fifa
Any Fifa player will tell you that Premier League teams are always a common sight year on year, and Gomez’s chemistry potential as an English national and a Liverpool player gives him a few handy extra boosts across a starting XI.
What’s more, Fifa 21 is a great example of real money earning games that are becoming more and more popular within the industry, and Joe Gomez represents the sorts of reliable budget alternatives that players can fall back on without needing to splash their cash. Esports betting specialists Unikrn.com rightly point out that the Liverpool defender will only cost players around 8,000 coins on either Xbox or PlayStation consoles.
Gomez’s statistics and ratings are also nothing to take too lightly either. With his vanilla rare gold card currently holding an 83 rating, putting him ahead of the likes of Manchester United’s captain Harry Maguire (82), Manchester City’s much-praised Ruben Dias (81) and Chelsea’s defensive duo of Antonio Rudiger (81) and Kurt Zouma (80).
A closer look at the England defender’s stats will also show exactly how well suited he is to the ‘puggy’ meta so prevalent in Fifa this year. With so many card upgrades and specials running around the game this year, Gomez’s baseline stats of 78 acceleration and 85 sprint speed means he can compete with most pacey forwards without too much trouble, and his 83 defending and 80 physicality numbers balance out the card and help make him the reliable all-round player to compete at any level a player competes in.
Funnily enough, Gomez’s 85 sprint speed is technically the defender’s highest rated stat, a rarity for a defender, with his 85 standing tackle, 84 interceptions and 83 ratings on reactions, strength and defensive awareness also standing out against other players competing in his position.
Joe Gomez is aiming to return back to action at some point in May according to the latest reports, with manager Jurgen Klopp offering some positive feedback about the young England defender’s recovery. It’s hoped that he will be able to return to the pitch before the end of the season, however there’s nothing to suggest his game time on the virtual pitches of Fifa will diminish from now until the end of the game’s lifetime.