Charlton defender Joe Gomez says he is happy at The Valley despite being linked with some big Premier League names.

The highly-rated youngster, who doesn’t turn 18 until next month, has reportedly been on the radar of Newcastle United and Everton since last summer, with Arsenal the latest side to be linked.

But for Gomez it is all about playing games, something he is now doing regularly with the Addicks.

He said: “I’m enjoying my football and taking each game as it comes.

“I have to be happy with the opportunities I’m getting to play, so I’m definitely happy to stay here.”

Gomez also admits he is surprised how much playing time he has enjoyed this season.

The defender has already made 21 appearances in both league and cup competitions for the Addicks this season, playing a starring role.

Gomez once again impressed against Fulham at The Valley in last night’s lacklustre 1-1 draw.

The academy graduate kept the scores level in the second half by clearing Matt Smith’s goal-bound effort off the line after Johann Gudmundsson’s first half strike had cancelled out Ross McCormack’s early opener.

However, despite his surprise at the number of games he has been involved in, Gomez is still relishing the opportunity.

He said: “I definitely didn't expect to play so much this season.

“I came in just enjoying being around the team and hoping to get my opportunities here and there.

“But obviously I’ve had the opportunity to play and I’ve had a good run of games recently, which I’m enjoying.”

Gomez has played alongside both Tal Ben Haim and Roger Johnson and believes their experience has been instrumental in his development.

He said: “It’s been great, they’ve been talking me through the games.

“Off the training pitch they’ve given me tips as well, which has helped a lot.

“Their experience speaks for itself with the clubs they’ve played at.

“They’ve played at the top level, so I want to emulate that.”

Gomez has enjoyed stints at right-back this season, as well as in his favoured central defensive position, and believes this change has benefited his game.

He explained: “In a positional sense it’s helped a lot.

“It’s a different area on the pitch and it helps my understanding at centre-back as well.

“I get the chance to get forward too and join in the attacks, which I enjoy, and I’ve learned a lot there.”

The defender recently returned from England U19 duty and pointed out playing youth international football was a very different experience from the competitiveness of the Championship.

He explained: “It’s different, it’s not the same sort of tempo and it’s not as intense.

“But in terms of footballing development it’s probably more tactical.

“It was nice to get away but it’s a different standard of football.”

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