Martin Kelly thinks learning from Glen Johnson can only help his long-term development. LiverpoolFC.tv reports the 21-year-old defender enjoys learning from Sunday's hero and thinks the team will gel into one of the English Premier League's best.
"At this moment in time, I am the understudy to Glen," Kelly said. "I am still young and to watch a player like that is only good for me. Whenever called upon, I've played well in that position as well as across the back four.
"It's good for Glen to be playing and pushing on in the England side, and it's brilliant for me to be watching him in training and learning from him."
Kelly has been in and out of the Liverpool team this season as he's battled hamstring and groin injuries. The promising defender has been limited to just five league games this season. Johnson's return from his own injury layoff has kept the now-fit Kelly on the bench in recent weeks.
Despite his recent lack of first-team action, the LFC Academy graduate has starred when matched against his peers. He scored for England's U-21 national team in recent games against Iceland and Belgium. That he did so while playing center back for his country did not escape the keen eye of Reds' boss Kenny Dalglish. The manager thinks Kelly's versatility will not only see him earn playing time in the short-term, but make him a better player over the long-term.
"It's brilliant for us," Dalglish said of Kelly's progress. "Kells played at centre-back for the (England) U21s and that's where he started here, that's where he set out to be and maybe that's where he will go back to.
"The two goals Martin got for the U21s will not do him any harm. It will give him a greater appetite to play here, we know he has done well for us.
Kelly thinks the 2011-12 Liverpool team will soon show themselves to be one of England's strongest. The players were all lifted by Sunday's win at Chelsea and the young defender believes the team is bonding into a formidable unit.
"If you look at our team and the strengths we've got, we're definitely a top-four team," he said. "It's about gelling and getting the results at home against the so-called lower teams. Every game now in the Premier League is difficult and we can only look at one game at a time.
"We were delighted with the win at Chelsea – we'll take that into our training this week and try and get the win at home to City."
Photo via Flickr/cap_gundamgirl