Tipped as a ‘name for the future’ by his compatriot Sami Hyypia, Lauri Dalla Valle is a player with much potential and expectations. The Finnish attacking midfielder, 18, scored 20 goals for the under 18’s last year and was the subject of speculation linking him with a move to Fulham in the summer. He was promoted to the reserves but has had an injury plagued season which has prevented him from making an appearance for the Reds’ second string. He has though scored 3 goals in 3 appearances for the under 18’s.
Piotr Czernicki-Sochal from the Polish Liverpool supporters site, LFC.pl, recently interviewed Lauri and has kindly translated the interview for us below.
Piotr: Fulham offered £3.5 million for you last summer. There was some gossip saying that you weren’t happy at at Liverpool. What’s the truth?
Lauri: I’m really happy here. I want to play for the first team one day.
You moved from the U-18 team to the reserves. How are you doing?
Training isn’t too much different. It’s a little more difficult obviously, because the players are older and more experienced. I cope fine with it, though.
Kenny Dalglish works in the Academy now, did you meet him?
Yes, I talked with Kenny before. He’s a very nice man and it was an honour.
Before you joined Liverpool you trained with Inter Milan for a few months. Why didn’t you stay there?
I was young and I didn’t speak much of the language. England is a lot more like Finland, I love this country! Italy was different.
Let’s sum this up: you trained with Inter, Chelsea wanted to buy you, you were tracked by Ajax, AC Milan and Barcelona and you play for Liverpool. That’s pretty impressive for a 18-year old!
Do you want to achieve as much as Sami Hyypia at Anfield?
Yes! Sami Hyypia is someone I’m looking up to. Even though he’s a defender, he was such an inspiration for the whole club and he played many games for the first team as well. I hope i’ll do the same.
Liverpool scout Ian Barrigan once said that you were “the most natural finisher in the history of Academy”. It looks like the biggest teams will fight for you again in a few years?
It’s amazing to know that great teams may be interested in me. I work hard and I love playing football, but right now I want to do it only at Liverpool.
People say that your style of football is similiar to Fernando Torres’ and Wayne Rooney’s…
I’ve been compared to Fernando Torres before, but I’ve never heard about the Wayne Rooney one. They are both very talented and it’s fantastic to be compared with them. I watch them on television and I hope to be as successfull as they are.
Liverpool is very popular in the Nordic countries. Who were you supporting in your childhood?
I watched a lot of Liverpool games when I was little. They are really famous in Finland. Liverpool have always been my favourite English football team and that’s why I decided to join Academy.
Also see: Kop Star focus on Dalla Valle
Your father is Italian, you can still choose which national team will you play for.
I haven’t made my decision yet, but probably I’m going to play for Finland.
I guess that Rafa doesn’t ask you for transfer recommendations, but let’s say you can point out one player. Who would it be?
David Villa! I’ve seen him playing alongside Fernando Torres and they were extremely good. I know that it’s a big request, but him and Torres would be stunning up front. They’re doing great in the national team and having them both at Liverpool would be amazing to watch.
Thanks to Lauri for answering the questions and Piotr for the interview.