Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold is ready to take on his hero Steven Gerrard on Saturday as the Reds host Aston Villa.
Gerrard returns to Anfield for the first time as a manager after spending over 20 years at Liverpool. The 41-year-old is regarded as a club legend and much has been made of his return to the club.
Now, Trent Alexander-Arnold has reiterated that the Reds must be focused on coming away with the three points.
Speaking to the Official Liverpool FC Website, the right-back said: “It will be strange. The fans, it will obviously bring back a lot of memories for them. It will be good for him to return to where it all happened for him personally.
“As players and people who are so close to it, we can’t really let our feelings get involved. For me, growing up him being such an influential person for me – watching him and admiring him so much – I need to try to put that to one side and focus on the game and it’s about winning that game, that’s all that matters.
“And then after the game we can focus on those feelings. Going into it, we want to win the game. We know we have the chance to, so it’s about coming away with the three points.”
Alexander-Arnold also revealed how big of an influence Gerrard has been on his own career.
“Just inspirational. Someone who made a lot happen. Someone I massively looked up to. The heart and soul of the club for many years, someone who embodied everything about the club. Someone it was really hard not to look up to; I think even opposition fans and people who wanted to hate him, you had to respect what he was doing on the pitch.
“Showed a level of consistency not many players can, over a long, long period of time. There was a lot for me, growing up, that I admired about him.”
Gerrard worked with the England defender whilst eh was doing his coaching badges at the Liverpool academy and the Liverpool star admitted to trying to learn as much as he could.
“He was coming down now and then to do his coaching badges. It was good to get an insight into his way of life and obviously the way he saw the game.
“It was important for me to try to learn and study, and good to pick his brain from time to time and learn from him really.
“At a young age not many people get the chance to meet their heroes and effectively be trained and taught by them. It was massive for me, I was grateful for that.”
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