Rush praises ‘brave’ Hart

Ian Rush believes Joe Hart’s “brave” move abroad will benefit him in the same way that it did Gareth Bale.

England goalkeeper Hart joined Italian club Torino on deadline day after his playing opportunities became limited under new Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Former Liverpool striker Rush knows Turin well as he spent one season at Torino’s city rivals Juventus in the late 1980s, and he believes Hart should be applauded for making the surprise switch to Serie A.

“I don’t like people who are happy being there for the sake of it,” Rush said of the situation Hart found himself in at the Etihad Stadium.

“At Man City he had most probably become third choice.

“He wants to play and is England’s number one. I think it will make him better for the experience.

“Since Gareth Bale went to Real Madrid he became a better player for Wales because of what he has learned, and Joe Hart will be exactly the same.

“It is a brave move for him, but it is one where he wants to play and hopefully he will do okay.”

Rush struggled to adapt to life in Italy when he joined Juventus for a then British record transfer fee of £3.2million.

He scored only seven goals in 29 league appearances before returning to Liverpool in 1988, but he says much has changed for players in the intervening years.

“Turin is an industrial city and will be different to what he is used to in the winter,” said Rush.

“I was lucky as I scored the winner against Torino and they treat you really well.

“If he does well against Juventus I am sure they will love him.

“It is not going to be easy, but it is a lot easier off the pitch nowadays as you have people helping you.

“As a goalkeeper it will be about his communication with his defence, the most important thing is defensive organisation and to do that he will have to speak Italian.”

Liverpool ambassador Rush said he was disappointed to see his fellow Welshman Joe Allen leave Anfield this summer.

Midfielder Allen’s four-year stay on Merseyside came to an end when he joined Stoke for £13million.

“It was sad to see Joe go because he had a great Euros and in his last three months at Liverpool he did what the manager (Jurgen Klopp) asked,” said Rush.

“The manager wanted him to score more goals, he did that and got into more (scoring) positions.

“People were raising questions about him when he joined from Swansea, but he overcame that and became a better player at Liverpool.”

On Liverpool’s ambitions this season, Rush added: “It’s the most interesting Premier League in a long time with a lot of new managers.

“For me, it would be a bonus if Liverpool finished in the top four. That’s the target.

“I was with them in pre-season and they blow a bit hot and cold. They just need consistency and they’ve got the right manager to do that.

“The last time we almost won the league under Brendan Rodgers we weren’t in Europe, so I’m hoping maybe for something similar.”

Press Association Sport