Jonjo Shelvey is flattered not burdened by comparisons with Steven Gerrard, and excited at the prospect of learning from the midfield master.
The young Liverpool midfielder sees the club captain as the perfect role model and hopes he can be half as successful as the England star during his time on Merseyside.
“I think he’s the benchmark for young midfielders – he is for me. Everyone has someone they look up to but he’s the one for me. Hopefully I can achieve half of what he’s achieved," the former Charlton Athletic starlet told the Liverpool Daily Echo.
After drawing comparisons to the Kop idol, the weight of expectation could easily have got to Shelvey, but the teenager remains confident that he can continue to build on some impressive senior performances for the Reds last term.
“It's not a burden for me, it’s nice to be compared to people like that. If something’s not going well, you can tell yourself, ‘Come on, you’re supposed to be the next whoever.’
"It’s a bit of inspiration. It's nice to be labelled, but you can’t rest on what you’ve done. You have to be your own player, train day in and day out and try to become the best player you can.”
The 19-year-old is hoping to earn a few more starts for the Reds under Kenny Dalglish next season, bud admits that just coming into training with the club is a huge honour.
“The highlight is just coming into training every day. It's a pleasure to get up in the morning knowing you're coming into work at Liverpool Football Club. It's an honour. I enjoy it here and hopefully I can get more starts and be a Liverpool player for a long time,” he added.
“I knew the club was a hard working and family orientated club as soon as I joined. Everyone loves coming to work here. I don't think you could find a better place to work. Everyone is friendly, everyone gets on with everyone.”
Shelvey concluded that improving the defensive side of his game has been key to making him a better footballer, with the pace of the Barclays Premier League meaning forcing the player into a slight change in style.
During his time with the Addicks at The Valley, Shelvey build a reputation as a free-flowing midfielder with a creative flair, and whilst that remains a part of Shelvey's game, he's worked hard to improve the other areas in his skills set.
“The defensive side of the game was very new to me when I first came here,” he concluded.
“The staff here organise you very well defensively, and it’s helped me as a person on and off the pitch.
“I’m not so attack-minded any more, I’m getting to know what my job is in the team.”
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