Steven Gerrard: Liverpool to hire former captain as youth coach

Steven Gerrard
Now 36, Gerrard played 710 times for Liverpool between 1998 and 2015, winning nine trophies

Former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard is to return to the Premier League club as a youth coach.

Gerrard, 36, who made his Liverpool debut in 1998, will begin the job in February.

The midfielder left Anfield at the end of the 2014-15 season to join MLS side LA Galaxy and retired as a player in November after a 19-year career.

"It feels like completing the circle, returning to the place where it all began," Gerrard said.

"However, this isn't a decision based on emotion - it's about what I can offer and contribute," he added.

"When I knew coming back was a serious option I wanted to make sure it was a substantive role.

"This gives me a great opportunity to learn and develop as a coach, while at the same time offering my knowledge, ideas and experience to the young players at an important period of their development."

Liverpool said he would bring "experience and expertise" to the role, as well as "unparalleled knowledge of the fabric and ethos" of the club.

Gerrard had been linked with the manager's job at League One side MK Dons after announcing he would leave LA Galaxy, but said the opportunity came "too soon" for him.

He is also working towards his Uefa A coaching licence, which is required to manage in the Premier League.

Gerrard played 710 times for the Reds, winning nine trophies. He is England's fourth most-capped player with 114 appearances and captained the side at three of the six major tournaments he played at.

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Analysis

Phil McNulty, chief football writer

Steven Gerrard's return to Liverpool was inevitable once he decided to end his spell at LA Galaxy.

The former Reds captain has been a constant presence at Anfield since coming back to Merseyside from the United States and manager Jurgen Klopp has never hidden his desire to bring the 36-year-old back into the fold.

Gerrard's willingness to work with the younger groups [he is likely to cover under-16 to under-23] shows his acceptance of the need to serve a coaching apprenticeship.

He is happy to be back at Liverpool and understands how the club works. Gerrard knows he will need to work his way up the ladder and will not simply be handed senior posts based on reputation, albeit a glittering one.

Just his presence around the club and his stature among supporters will have made this the easiest of appointments for Klopp and the club's hierarchy.

Liverpool's statement announced the appointment of a new Academy coach. The return of Steven Gerrard represents so much more than that in the context of the club's long-term future.

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