GUANGZHOU, (AFP) – New Liverpool recruit Charlie Adam said Monday he was relishing playing for a “massive football club” as he joined the Premier League side on their first tour of China.
Liverpool completed the signing of the much-coveted Scottish midfielder last week from relegated Blackpool for a reported fee of up to eight million pounds ($12.7 million).
Speaking in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, where Liverpool face local side Guangdong Sunray Cave in a friendly on Wednesday, the 25-year-old expressed his excitement at making the step-up to a top side.
“I’ve been training with a massive football club for the upcoming season. I’m excited and looking forward to it,” he said.
“My aim is play well, hopefully score some goals and win some games.”
Adam, a central midfielder lauded for his passing range and eye for goal, has been touted as a long-overdue replacement for Spaniard Xavi Alonso, who left for Real Madrid in 2009.
Adam, who was shortlisted for the Premier League Player of the Year award last season after scoring 12 goals in 35 league appearances, follows Sunderland youngster Jordan Henderson into Anfield as the club’s second big-money midfield buy of the summer.
The Reds’ tour to China aims to tap the nation’s massive football market and give the mainland’s estimated 60 million Liverpool fans a chance to see their heroes on the pitch.
Hundreds of fans greeted the players at Guangzhou airport on Monday morning and dozens more — many in Liverpool shirts — took pictures as the team arrived at their hotel.
Liverpool play a Malaysian XI in Kuala Lumpur on July 16 as they tune up for the start of the Premier League season on August 13.