Steven Gerrard insists he has not just returned to Liverpool for emotional reasons, as he looks to make a serious contribution to the club’s fortunes.
Gerrard ended his 17-year spell at Anfield at the end of the 2014-15 season, after which he had one campaign in the United States with LA Galaxy before hanging up his boots. He has since turned down an opportunity to become MK Dons manager, has spent time at the Reds academy, and has also been engaged in punditry work.
It has now been confirmed that the 36-year-old has made a permanent return to Liverpool in a full-time coaching role with the academy, which is due to commence in February. Although this will be an emotional return for the former England captain, he insists there was much more to his decision to return to the club.
“This isn’t a decision based on emotion – it’s about what I can offer and contribute to Liverpool,” he said. “I don’t think I need to explain to people what this club means to me, but when I knew coming back was a serious option I wanted to make sure it was a substantive role and a role in which I could really help the organisation.”
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has always insisted that the door remains open to Gerrard, who will now be working under the stewardship of academy director Alex Inglethorpe. The 44-year-old is responsible for developing the youth talent at the club, and he believes their former captain is the ideal man to help realise these aims.
“If I was to pick one individual who embodies the characteristics and values we are looking to instil into our organisation it would be Steven Gerrard,” he said. “For him to have been so enthusiastic about being part of what we are looking to do is simply great news for everyone connected to the club.”