Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold admits to having grown up idolising Wayne Rooney, who achieved legend status at the Reds’ arch-rivals Manchester United and Everton, but is proud to have followed in the footsteps of another Scouser, Steven Gerrard, at Anfield.
A meteoric rise to prominence has been enjoyed by Alexander-Arnold – one to match those previously enjoyed by Rooney and Gerrard, who broke through as talented teenagers on opposite sides of Stanley Park.
Following in those illustrious footsteps was never going to be easy, but another Merseyside native is looking to become a superstar in his own right.
Alexander-Arnold said at a Red Bull event: “I remember growing up, I was a Rooney fan.
“He was obviously a local lad but he had the hype at the time. I must have been about five or six when he’d broken into the first team. He was doing crazy things like ‘that’ goal against Arsenal.
“I remember watching Henry as well. My mum always says that I used to watch loads of Match of Day – video tapes of old matches from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s.”
While admiring Rooney, Alexander-Arnold was always a red and only ever wanted to emulate one modern-day icon.
“Gerrard. He was everything to me,” a man who now has 145 Liverpool appearances to his name added.
“When I was growing up I just wanted to be him, no other way about it. I wanted to live how he lived, I wanted to play how he played, I wanted to kick a ball how he did.
“I’d walk down the road and I see an empty bottle and I’d run up and strike it, and shout ‘Gerrard!’. To be fair I think a lot of kids in the city were doing the same thing.”
Alexander-Arnold has already savoured the title success that Gerrard missed out on, with Liverpool determined to build on their recent triumphs as they plan to throw open their doors again to a loyal fan base at some point in the near future.
“It’s difficult because you don’t realise how much fans influence game plans, like with momentum and the sounds you can hear… I miss the fans so much,” said Alexander-Arnold.
“It feels empty without them. Even though you know they’re watching at home and they’re all over the world tuning in, it’s not the same without them. Football’s not the same.
Source : goal.com