As he bids to earn an England recall, Hull midfielder Jake Livermore has cited idol Steven Gerrard and former teammate Luka Modric has two of the leading stars who he has tried to model his game after.
Livermore, 24, earned his lone Three Lions cap in August 2012 while at Tottenham Hotspur, but his subsequent failure to hold down a regular spot at White Hart Lane saw him fall out of the national team picture.
However, a season-long loan move to Hull last August, which became permanent this summer, has led to him becoming a core contributor in Steve Bruce’s side, alongside ex-Spurs colleague Tom Huddlestone, and the recent emergence of Fabian Delph on the scene has made him confident of a return to the setup in the near future.
In the meantime, Livermore has looked to Gerrard in his bid to bring his game up to international standards and, though now-Real Madrid star Modric was a big inspiration during his time at his childhood club, the Reds skipper remains the benchmark to emulate.
‘Fabian Delph has shown that if you continue to play well you can earn your reward and that has to be my aim at Hull. If I play well hopefully Mr Hodgson will take a look,’ he told the Daily Mail.
'I used to study Luka Modric, who is a hell of a player, but Gerrard has been my hero since I turned professional. I played against him for Tottenham once when he was coming back from injury and I learned more in ten minutes than I did in four years from coaching.
‘He not only had supreme confidence in his own ability but he gave it to those around him. He brought a calmness to their game and dictated the pace. As a midfielder, one of the most difficult aspects is finding space but his movement was such he made it look easy. If I emulate anything close to what he has done in the game it would be fantastic.’
Livermore is set to face his hero on Saturday when Hull travel to Anfield for their Premier League clash, but the Tigers talisman isn’t expecting an easy game with the home side looking to bounce back from their 3-0 Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.
'He is a leader and he will be getting them up for the game after their result against Madrid but I'd like to earn respect by playing well against him,’ he said.
‘Whatever happened we would expect a tough game but we've got a good bunch here at Hull.’