St Johnstone loan signing and lifelong Liverpool supporter Tristan Nydam grew up hero-worshipping Steven Gerrard.
And the England under-19 midfielder is already looking forward to facing up to the Rangers manager’s side when Saints head to Ibrox next month.
The highly-rated teenager made 20 starts for Ipswich Town in the Championship last year and secured a contract through to 2021 on the back of them.
Tommy Wright has managed to lure the teenager north of the border to strengthen his midfield options and one fixture in particular has already caught Nydam’s eye.
“As a Liverpool fan Steven Gerrard was my idol as a youngster. I always loved the way he played, his attitude and his work ethic,” said Nydam.
“I didn’t model my style on him but any youngster would look up to a player like him.
“It is strange to think I could be playing against a team Steven Gerrard is managing but that would be exciting.”
Nydam will be a stranger to Scottish football but ex-Rangers Ipswich team-mates, Martyn Waghorn and Joe Garner, have talked up the Premiership.
“It’s the first time I have ever been to Scotland but I am looking forward to playing here,” he said.
“I heard about the club’s interest last week and I jumped at the chance.
“Joe and Martyn had both left Ipswich before this move came about but I had spoken to them before about Scottish football.
“They both enjoyed their time up here with Rangers. They were very positive about Scotland and said the fans were incredible.
“Martyn said the Championship was very similar to the top division here.
“So I know it will be tough and played at 100 miles an hour.”
Nydam, who was linked with a move to Arsenal last season, is eager to keep his career on the up.
He said: “I didn’t expect it so early but I got a lot of first team experience under Mick McCarthy last year and played in most of the pre-season matches.
”But the new manager Paul Hurst has brought in new players so there is a lot of competition.
“He is looking for me to get first team games to build on last year.
“My aim in coming to St Johnstone is just to get more experience and play in some big games against Rangers, Celtic and other teams up here.”
Nydam revealed he has already played with Saints summer signing Drey Wright – but only on PlayStation!
He said: “My mate plays for Colchester and we played Call of Duty together online. I also played against Drey in pre-season last year.”
Perth boss Wright has been keen to add another midfielder to his squad, especially with Murray Davidson damaging his ankle against Dundee at the weekend.
“I am delighted to get Tristan here,” said Wright, who revealed one-time Newcastle United teammate Paul Goddard had been integral in sealing the deal. “He is a real talent and will add something to our midfield.
“Normally I might shy away from taking an 18-year-old on loan but Tristan has played a lot of first team football in the Championship, which is a tough environment.
“That shows the ability that he has and he is very adaptable, able to play across the midfield. He has all the qualities to go on and become a top class midfielder.”