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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers brought in a whole host of new signings this summer as the Luis Suarez windfall was used to improve the entire squad, and one of his more unheralded signings was Spanish right back Javier Manquillo from Atletico Madrid. The 20-year-old is on a two-year loan deal from Atletico Madrid, and says it's a dream come true to be playing alongside Steven Gerrard.
"The first time I watched Gerrard play, I was only a child," said Manquillo. "Now I play in the same team with him, he’s a truly great player and it’s a dream come true to share the field with him. At the moment, I’m very happy to stay here. There’s some things I miss about home…the weather is the main one but I’m getting accustomed to things here more and more every day.”
After Sevilla's Alberto Moreno also arrived on Merseyside, Liverpool had three Spanish full backs in the squad alongside Manquillo and Jose Enrique. The latter spend most of last season on the sidelines as he nursed a knee problem, but he's now back in action and the former Newcastle man says he's just glad to be back.
"I've always appreciated football, I've always loved training and I've always loved playing even more," he said. "But now, every time I go into training, I am like a child getting back with the team. Last year, I came to train alone all of the time while my teammates were outside. For a long time, I was alone and training in the gym because I was injured."
"Now I am training with my teammates again, I feel like the happiest guy in the world. I want to play - but I am so happy just to be back and training. It is true what they say in life, when something happens to you, you appreciate things more. That's what's happened to me."
Finally, Fabio Borini chose to stay at Liverpool last week rather than sign for Sunderland or QPR on deadline day, and his presence at Anfield could actually be beneficial to the club after Daniel Sturridge picked up an injury on international duty. The 23-year-old could now work his way back into the first team after a strong end to last season on loan at Sunderland, and says he made his decision in a bid to fight for his place.
“I know that it is a real challenge now to find a space in the Liverpool side, because the competition here is so great, and there are many good players," he said. “But for me, that should be a motivation, not a problem.
"I have committed to the club, and I want to earn a place in the side. It is my aim to return to the team and to score goals for Liverpool. I know it will not be easy, it will be very challenging. But I am motivated.
"Yes, I heard some criticism, but I made the decision and it is my job to prove I can be worth a place. That’s what I aim to do now," added the former Chelsea man.