Liverpool defender names Chelsea legend as football idol
Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne reveals his footballing inspiration was Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola
Nathaniel Clyne has revealed that Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola was his childhood footballing idol.
The England international completed an £11.5m move to Liverpool from Southampton in the summer transfer window after having impressed at St Mary’s over the past three seasons.
I used to like Gianfranco Zola. He was a top player. I liked him because he was small and I was small
However, Clyne initially started his career as a striker despite since blossoming into an England regular at full-back over the past couple of seasons.
And the 24-year-old defender revealed Chelsea magician Zola was his inspiration as a youngster, before moving back the pitch.
“Ideally I wanted to be a striker. I liked playing up front and scoring goals.” Clyne told Liverpool’s website.
“But I always had this hunger in me to run after people and get the ball back and I was really good at it so they decided I was better off as a defender.
“Back in the day I used to like Gianfranco Zola. He was a top player. I liked him because he was small and I was small. I’m still small now.”
Clyne has formed part of a Liverpool defence that have kept three clean sheets in their opening four Premier League games before a 3-0 loss to West Ham United last weekend.
Liverpool make the trip to top-four rivals Manchester United in their next Premier League game at Old Trafford next Saturday.
The Reds have won two games, drawn once and suffered one loss in their opening four league games of the season.