Manchester United midfielder James Garner has controversially admitted to idolising Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard when he was growing up.
The 19-year-old is currently on loan at Watford and United fans will no doubt be hoping he can learn from the experience and come back ready to challenge for a first-team place.
However, Red Devils supporters may not be too happy to hear Garner discussing the midfielder he idolised when he was growing up, as he spoke to Watford’s official site about his long-time admiration of Gerrard.
“I get asked this a lot of times. Because of where I grew up, all my family are Liverpool supporters, which is ironic considering I’m at Manchester United, so my idol was probably Steven Gerrard,” he said.
“I used to watch all the games with my Dad and he was the main player who I used to watch and I wanted to be like him. I used to wear the Predators, just like him, and I still do today.”
Garner also talked up learning from former Man Utd star Michael Carrick in training, with the former England international now part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching team.
Garner seems to admit his playing style is perhaps more similar to Carrick than Gerrard, and it’s easy to imagine he could end up being a hugely important part of the MUFC squad in the future if he can get anywhere close to Carrick’s level.
“A lot of people compare me to Michael Carrick,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of work with him at Manchester United and I’ve watched a lot of his clips, and he used to play the ball forward as much as he could, so I’ve tried to emulate that in my game as well.
“Even before I went up into the first team I was working with him. When I was younger he watched one of my games and the coach at the time said Michael would like to help me, so I did a few one-on-one sessions where it would just be me and him in a room with my clips. It was a bit crazy that he wanted to take time out of his day to help me get better. He used to tell me how I could improve and he helped me so much on the basic things, but it’s the basics that are sometimes the most complicated things.”