Summer signing Tiago Ilori learned his defensive trade by studying players from two completely different eras of football – German icon Franz Beckenbauer and Liverpool's very own Jamie Carragher.

When he finalised his switch to Anfield on transfer deadline day at the beginning of September, the Portuguese youth international cited the recently retired Carragher as an inspiration.

Still at the fledgling stages of his career, the 20-year-old is well aware that there is a long road of improvement ahead in the years to come but nevertheless retains lofty ambitions.

"I admired him as a player," Ilori told the official Liverpool FC magazine about Carragher.

"We're different - he's done everything in the game and I've done nothing yet, but also in terms of the way I play and the way he played.

"We're different but I respect him enormously for what he's done for Liverpool Football Club.

"I can be aggressive when I need to be but that's not the main part of my game. I think I'm relatively quick. I like to come out with the ball and try to build play from the back. I also like to go forward for set-plays.

"You tend to look at your own position and I was always told about Franz Beckenbauer and saw lots of videos of him while I was growing up.

"I respect all defenders who have been able to have some success in the game but I would love to play like Beckenbauer."

Although Carragher recently brought his playing days to a close and Beckenbauer entered retirement three decades ago, Ilori is not short of role models to follow on a daily basis.

French international Mamadou Sakho became a Liverpool player on the very same day as the No.26, with both bolstering a squad already boasting Daniel Agger, Sebastian Coates, Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure.

Ilori added: "There is competition but I'm looking forward to training with these players and learning from them all.

"Mamadou and I came over to Liverpool on the same plane - he travelled from France and I came from Portugal. We had a chance to talk as he can speak enough English to hold a conversation and it was good to meet him.

"I'm just going to do my best to try and adapt and if I can start playing that would be great. I would love to, of course, but I don't know what's going to happen. What I do know is that I'm definitely looking forward to the challenge.

"It wasn't a difficult choice as I think every player wants to come to the Premier League in England, and to such a big club as Liverpool was a great opportunity.

"It was more a case of deciding whether it was the right time to make that step. But I've definitely made the right decision and I'm very happy to be here."

Ilori was speaking in the latest edition of the official Liverpool FC magazine. Click here for more information on becoming a subscriber.