New Liverpool defender Glen Johnson was officially unveiled at the club’s training ground on Thursday. The England international’s squad number is yet to be announced but the official Reds website lists him as number 2 meaning current incumbent Andrea Dossena will relinquish his number.
Johnson will travel with the rest of his new team mates to Switzerland this weekend for the annual pre-season training camp before making his debut in the friendly with FC St. Gallen next Wednesday.
Rafa Benitez and Glen Johnson Interviews
Johnson’s Arrival in photos
Glen Johnson Press Conference Quotes
There were other clubs interested, so why Liverpool?
Obviously it’s a fantastic club with a great history and I’ve always had a little soft spot for Liverpool.
Where does that soft spot stem from?
Funnily enough, even though I am from south London, the first football kit I ever had was a Liverpool kit, though don’t ask why…
How close was the possibility of you going back to Chelsea?
Not very close at all, really. I spoke to Rafa and I knew where I wanted to go in my stomach, so it was an easy decision.
What was it that attracted you?
Rafa was keen to help me improve and turn me into the player I can be.
How much did you know about interest from other clubs?
Obviously Portsmouth will know a lot more than me about that but according to the papers there was a lot of interest. But when I heard about Liverpool it was an easy decision.
How important was it for you to get it wrapped up quite early in the summer?
The earlier it got done the better so I could try to chill out and enjoy the rest of the summer before concentrating on pre-season.
Do you feel you have a point to prove after moving away from Chelsea?
When I left Chelsea I needed to play games, and obviously I’m very grateful Portsmouth took me on. I played week in, week out and I like to think I showed people a better perspective of what I can do. Now I’ve been given this opportunity I want to try and do what I did last season and improve as a player.
And obviously you have England ambitions with the World Cup coming up as well?
Yes, obviously it’s a big year for my England career as well but my first focus is to do as well as I can in a Liverpool shirt. I’ll take it from there.
How big a challenge is facing this Liverpool squad next season?
We’ve got a great team and a great squad. We’ll try to make it as difficult as we can for everyone we play against.
You finished second to Manchester United. Do you feel you can improve on that now?
We are looking to improve throughout the whole squad. If we can pick up a few more points and make a few less mistakes then we can look to improve.
How excited are you about the challenge here?
I’m delighted. I’ve come to win a few trophies. I knew Carra and Stevie and some of the other lads from playing against them. I am looking forward to it.