Can Steven Gerrard find a place at Liverpool again?
Early last year, Steven Gerrard broke Liverpool hearts across the world when he announced that he would be leaving the club at the end of the campaign. The grief was further compounded when Stevie slipped against Chelsea and completely blew the chance of a farewell league title.
He decided to take up a different challenge with Los Angeles Galaxy in the Major League Soccer, playing with them from July 2015. As news starts coming in that he might be leaving the City of Angels at the end of his contract in December, Reds are hoping for a joyous reunion with their Captain Fantastic – or are they?
The Liverpool legend has some unfinished business at Anfield; he has failed to win the league title during his glorious career spanning 17 years, one Champions League trophy and five domestic cups, along with other honours.
Depending on the number of games he gets to play, he will have a point to prove, that at 36, he can still make a difference on the pitch that he used to a decade ago!
The Reds are in ominous form this year and Kopites will hope that this is finally the season when they end their title drought. Gerrard, who has metamorphosed to a defensive midfielder over the past few years, will be competing with Jordan Henderson if he is to sign with Liverpool, and might provide a handy backup.
As a born leader on and off the pitch, he could be the calm head in the dressing room when the players might need someone who has the experience of being in a title race. Merely having him in the squad will have cause to inspire the rest of the players to put in an even better effort on the pitch!
Gerrard has been on good terms with Jürgen Klopp since the German joined Liverpool as the Head Coach last year. Stevie will be keen to mentor the younger players in the squad and on the fringes, and his guidance could be an invaluable addition to Klopp’s coaching unit.
Liverpool might also offer Gerrard an off-field role, where he can be involved as an ambassador for the club. He can go into coaching the youth teams and be groomed for the head coach position that he could take over in the future.
However, not everyone wants the Scouser to return to Melwood and it’s not hard to see why. The Reds are in prime form right now, and need to continue in the same vein if they need to have a realistic chance of topping the league table in May.
In a squad that emphasizes on playing as a team, as opposed to relying on any one player, Stevie G is going to THE superstar. It will be a shame if his persona were to disrupt the rhythm of this team.
Jürgen Klopp expects his players to have a continuous high intensity game and it is doubtful as to whether Stevie can sustain his fitness in this system. If he cannot play at the level that the rest of the team does, it makes little sense for him to return as a player.
In addition to that, Liverpool have a completely synchronized backroom staff and Klopp has worked with most of them for a long time. It is unclear whether Gerrard can fit in the coaching role, or if he takes up a more hands-free approach as a mentor.
There is a possibility that he will be offered a contract extension with LA Galaxy, but a more productive role at Liverpool might just tempt him to leave sunny California and return home.
Steven Gerrard will always be welcome at Anfield; as the biggest Liverpool icon in modern times, he is admired and loved by their fans across the globe. Yes, there are some concerns with him, but he has always put the club ahead of himself, and he is likely to do so again.
If Gerrard can contribute in any way to the Reds’ title success this campaign, he will seal his name as one of the greatest Liverpool players ever.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Francisco Javier Fernández
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