ASTON VILLA youngster Caleb Chukwuemeka has revealed how Steven Gerrard gave his loan move to Livingston the thumbs up.

The 19-year-old has joined the Lions until the end of the season and is determined to make the most of his temporary switch north of the border.

Livi boss David Martindale insists the teenager, who joined Villa from Northampton Town last summer, arrives with a ‘big reputation’.

And the player himself is convinced that playing in the Scottish Premiership under Martindale can help take his game up a level before a return to Gerrard’s Villa.

He said: “I felt it was the next step of my career in terms of following the right pathway.

“Obviously I spoke to David Martindale a few days before coming and he laid out his foundation and what he expects from me.

“I feel like it’s the next stepping stone. I’m excited about getting started.

“The gaffer here spoke to Steven Gerrard to find out how I am as a person and how I am on the pitch. He was more of an influence on me coming here.

“Obviously with [Steven Gerrard] managing Rangers for a time he knows how good the league is. He just expects me to come here and do what I do best.”

Chukwuemeka told STV: “I feel like I’m a flair player and I like to express myself. I don’t think too much, I just go with the flow but work hard as well.

“I’m a very expressive player and I enjoy my football.”

Meanwhile, Martindale has been warned - but has escaped a touchline ban - following his Scottish FA hearing.

The Livi manager had been offered a one-match suspension but protested his innocence after being hit with a notice of complaint following his red card in October’s 1-1 draw with Dundee United.

He was found guilty of misconduct following the deletion of accusation he showed ‘dissent towards, and/or remonstrate with, a match official thus acting in breach of the laws of the game’.

Instead of a ban, however, he has been issued with a censure.