Scotland captain and Liverpool stalwart Andy Robertson has since gone onto become one of the best left-sided full-backs in world football and he has made his own particular impression upon Fleming, whose rise to first-team prominence has been one of the most positive aspects of City’s testing return to the Championship in 2021-22.
Fleming, preparing for Saturday’s game up the east coast at Middlesbrough, said: “Robertson was here when I was a first-team scholar and I trained with him a couple of times and he’s gone onto do great things at Liverpool and is a Champions League winner and Premier League winner. His style is not dissimilar to the way I play; intense and aggressive.”
In his 12 league matches this term, Fleming – who only established himself following Shota Arveladze’s arrival in January -–has provided three assists, while being named in the Championship’s Team of the Month for February and March by EFL’s official stats partner WhoScored.com.
Alongside Robertson, Fleming, very much a modern-day full-back and well placed to be a vital cog for City in the years to come, has other role models.
He continued: “If you look in the Premier League, you have got people like Trent (Alexander-Arnold), Reece James and Robertson, who make teams tick and get vital assists and goals.
“That is what I want to do, although I have not scored yet. When I watch them on Match of the Day or on Sunday, I am always looking to see what they are doing and see if I can replicate that.
“You are always wanting to contribute and that is a massive part of playing full-back these days. You have to be, otherwise you will probably find yourself out of the team.”