Why Liverpool should avoid a Steven Gerrard return
Liverpool fans are on a high at the moment after the Reds dismantled Chelsea in a brilliant comeback at the Bridge in Jurgen Klopp’s fifth game in charge. The German is the first Liverpool manager since the legendary Bob Paisley to remain undefeated in his first five games in charge. The euphoria that met his arrival at Liverpool has turned to unbridled optimism as he has already convinced a large portion of the fan base that there is still a lot to play for this season with the FA Cup and Capital One Cup to contend for, not to mention Champions League qualification via the Europa League or a top four finish still obtainable.
Most impressive about Klopp’s refreshing brief tenure so far has been his ability to maximize the form of players who had been struggling for form and consistency before his arrival. Alberto Moreno has been in incredible nick despite being in fluctuating form last season under Rodgers. The form of Lucas Leiva has been so impressive that he has won over fans who at the beginning of the season believed he should be sold to make way for a player of the likes of Yann M’Vila.
There have been rumours in the past week of Steven Gerrard to make a return to Liverpool after LA Galaxy entered their off season. When he left Liverpool for the American club, Brendan Rodgers promised him that if he would ever need to somewhere to train he would be welcomed with open arms at Melwood. This doesn’t necessarily mean he is likely to return in a playing capacity but it certainly would be unwise in both a personal sense and from Liverpool’s perspective.
Even the biggest admirer of Gerrard would admit that during his last few seasons on Merseyside he wasn’t at his highest level, despite an isolated period during the 2013/2014 season when he played as a regista in order to protect his aging legs. Making a return as a player wouldn’t make sense from a personal point of view as it would mar his incredible career as he wouldn’t be anywhere near the Gerrard that people have come to expect over the years. Furthermore, he would likely to fall foul of injuries making a season-long return almost pointless.
Even if Gerrard reached out to Klopp to return to Liverpool, which I don’t believe he will, it is unlikely that the German will think that Gerrard has enough with regards to footballing contributions on the pitch to warrant the exclusion of current midfielders at the club. Lucas Leiva is arguably in the form of his life and it doesn’t seem likely that he is about to experience a dip in form given the confidence he has after the faith shown in him by Klopp. The Brazilian’s form comes at a time when Liverpool desperately need a change in fortunes and for the time being it would seem as if Klopp as has ensured these fortunes have indeed been changed.
Emre Can is another player who would lose out if Gerrard was to be granted a return as a player. The young midfielder, signed from Bayer Leverkusen, has shown exactly why you put players in their natural positions. It’s a bit odd that it has to be said but after spending the bulk of his first season on the right side of a three man centre back partnership and the disastrous trip to the Brittania on the last day of the season it would seem Can is reveling in his midfield role. His exploits this season have demonstrated the true meaning of the term ‘destroyer’ with the license to bomb forward to support attacks and also his tendency to go flying whole-heartedly into challenges.
Despite picking up an injury early on in the season, Jordan Henderson would lose out big time if Gerrard made a return as there would be the dilemma of who would get the armband. When you think of it though, most associated with Liverpool would rather have Gerarrd as captain than Henderson so if the former returned it would make a very disappointing downgrade in status for Liverpool’s current captain.
Jurgen Klopp has done his best to dispel speculation saying, “I spoke with Stevie. One phone call and a few messages. He is a very nice guy I must say,”
“He’s a Liverpool legend, of course, but his contract as I know is in the USA.
“But now his break starts and I told him ‘When you are here of course you can come whenever you want, you can train with us if you think it is good for you.
“Of course our doors are always open for him, that is clear. But nothing else. Do you think he should play at this moment or next year. No? Why did you ask me?
“Stevie has a contract with LA Galaxy, he loves this club and he is a legend and when his contract has ended we can talk about different stuff.
“We will find for sure something for Stevie when he comes back and whatever he wants to do we will help him but not at this moment – we are in the middle of the season.
“Everything is fine, perfect between LFC and Stevie, but I don’t know him until now and I’m looking forward to the moment we meet each other and we’ll talk about his ideas for the future, maybe, if he has some.
“The door is always open. Of course.”
Liverpool fans will be delighted to hear that Steven Gerrard could return to Liverpool one day in some capacity be it as a first team coach or a youth coach but what will please most is having Gerarrd back at Liverpool, although not until his playing days are over.
Featured image taken by chao1989.
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