Walsall's Jason McCarthy aims to copy his big pal Adam Lallana
Walsall's Jason McCarthy has revealed he draws inspiration from England star and close friend Adam Lallana.
The 21-year-old has enjoyed an outstanding season since joining the Saddlers on loan from Premier League Southampton last summer.
McCarthy and Lallana became friends while the young midfielder was coming through the ranks at St Mary's.
And McCarthy admits he now sees the 28-year-old as a role model having watched him transform from a League One player into an integral part of the England side.
"Adam Lallana is really good with me," McCarthy said.
"He gives me loads of little tips every now and again.
"When I scored two at Bury, he picked the phone up. Things like that mean a lot. His rise has been incredible but it's deserved. He has got so much talent and he has worked so hard on the areas of his game he wasn't so good at – that is why he is where he is now. That is why I will always work on my game. I will always listen. I want to get to the top as well."
McCarthy's future is currently up in the air with the youngster out of contract at Southampton at the end of the season.
And the defender revealed he harbours ambitions to play for his country – with more and more players coming through the leagues before representing the Three Lions.
"In terms of my career I don't think I should rule out anything for the moment," McCarthy continued. "A lot of the players I know, like Lallana, at 22, he was playing in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final and in League One. Now look at him.
"That story is being told more and more. You get a lot of players who play in League One and go on to play for their country.
"When I say I want to make it to the top that is what I mean. I don't want to rule out anything. I want to get to the Premier League but time is on my side and I'm not thinking about it just yet.
"Right now I am thinking about the next step. Making sure I do what is best for my career. I want to keep improving and carrying on this wave."
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