Spearing seeking to become the new Mascherano

Young Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing has revealed how Rafa Benitez wants him to become a defensive midfielder and learn from Javier Mascherano.

Having been rewarded with a new contract in the summer and starting the League Cup clash at Leeds, Spearing is clearly rated highly by Benitez and is one for the future at Anfield.

Speaking to the official LFC site he explained Benitez’s hopes for him “It’s more tactical understanding than anything else. Rafa wants me to become a defensive midfielder and to understand the role and the positional side of things.

“It’s the heart of the team here because you’ve got to get forward if you can while protecting the back four. It’s a key area that we look at a lot.”

Having only made his senior debut last season – making appearances against PSV and Real Madrid in the Champions League – we should be seeing a lot more of Spearing this season.

“The coaches have told me I’ll be involved a lot more this season,” said the 20 year old from the Wirral. “This season I’ve been on the bench a few times and it’s a big progression. Last year I made the bench maybe two or three times. I’ve doubled that already and we’re only in October.

“It’s the most important season of my career so far. I’m involved with the first team every day now and the boss, Sammy Lee and the rest of the players are there looking at me every day.

“This is the season where I’ve got to show I’m here to stay and show what I can do.”