Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has admitted his desire to emulate former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.
Ferdinand joined Man United in 2002 for a fee of £30 – which in today’s terms would be about £120m – and spent 12 seasons at the club.
In that time the Englishman won six Premier League titles, two League Cups, and lifted the Champions League trophy in 2008.
Speaking earlier this week, Gomez, now a starter for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, noted he uses Ferdinand as an example of what to work towards.
“That’s the aim (to emulate Ferdinand and Jamie Carragher),” he said. “I’ve got a long way to go to reach their level but I’d like to incorporate every aspect of what they do.”
Ferdinand, in many ways, was ahead of the game.
On the ball, for a start, he was revolutionary, taking the benefits of playing out from the back and incorporating it within the physical demands of the English game. He was an alternative to the brutal meat-headedness which had become synonymous with defending in this country, whilst also being a fighter in his own right.
His attitude, though, was what really shined through, espousing the same determination to win and improve as Sir Alex Ferguson. That is why he was captain and why he, along with his teammates, managed to stay at the top for so long.