Liverpool under-23 player Tom Clayton has commented on the players he is taking inspiration from during his transition in to the senior ranks at the club and named one player as someone he ‘looks up to’.
The Scotland U21 international, who has been at the club since U9 level and can play in both defence and midfield, said (via The Courier): “I look up to Andy [Robertson]. He’s really highly regarded at Liverpool — part of the leadership group — and I watch him, learn and see what I can put into my game.
“He drives the sessions and the intensity, then his quality shines through. His attitude and application every day is an example.”
The Rainford-born talent has emphasised the difference in class between first-team football and that of the younger age groups and also likened one of his team mates to a ‘coach’ when on the training pitch.
“Virgil [van Dijk] is like a coach on the pitch during the session,” the 21-year-old added. “Those are guys you can look to and say: ‘I’ll take a lot from that’. You just need to watch them for five minutes and you’ll learn so much about how they train and apply themselves.”
Clayton was promoted to the club’s U18 ranks during Steven Gerrard’s time at The Academy and has labelled the current Rangers boss as ‘special’.
“I was a first year scholar when I found out Steven [Gerrard] was going to be our manager. He brought a real buzz to the place and had a lot of belief in me. On tour, you would see the attention he gets and think ‘wow, this guy is special’,” Clayton said.
With our former No.8 set to be named as the new Aston Villa boss in the coming days, our U23 skipper said, “He has done a great job at Rangers and, if you asked a lot of Liverpool fans, I’m sure they’d want him as the manager in future.
“But I think they are pretty happy with Jurgen [Klopp] at the minute!”
We’re currently blessed with an exciting crop of up and coming starlets from James Balagizi to Tyler Morton, which can only mean good things for the club’s future as we look to encourage development from within.
Let’s hope Clayton can continue to improve under the guidance of our current stars and maybe one day he will be gracing the turf at Anfield under the guidance of Stevie G.