9 Sept 2015

Transfer 'Priority': Legend blasts Liverpool for failing to sign 'irreplaceable' £75k-a-week superstar. Mistake?

Last summer, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers failed to adequately replaced top scorer Luis Suarez, and history repeated itself this year when Rodgers neglecting to fill the void left by Steven Gerrard. Many fans are still smarting from the manner of Gerrard's exit, and Arsenal legend Martin Keown insists that keeping the captain at Anfield should've been Liverpool's number-one transfer priority this summer.

In his column this weekend for the Daily Mail, Keown explained:

"[Liverpool's] biggest priority [should] have been to persuade Steven Gerrard to sign a new contract. You should never be in a hurry to let go of those kinds of players [and] his experience and influence are irreplaceable".

It's all well and good insisting that Liverpool should've kept Gerrard, but it was his decision to leave, and the former skipper confirmed this in January, when he told the Liverpool Echo:

"Becoming a squad player didn't excite me or motivate me. It would have been too difficult for me having been used to starting every game. I didn't want to become a bit-part player".

That said, Gerrard also cited (as one of his reasons for leaving) Rodgers' decision to bench him for last season's Champions League game with Real Madrid. Prior to the game, I argued against 'resting' Gerrard (ridiculous decision), and in an article on the subject, I wrote:

"I doubt Gerrard will be be happy about missing such a massive game. This season could be his last chance to...mix it with the likes of Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale etc. Gerrard will want to play, and dumping him on the bench is a surefire way to alienate him".

Well, as he later confirmed, the decision definitely alienated Gerrard, and pushed him towards the Anfield exit.

"When I was told I wasn’t playing [against Madrid], I accepted it, but I sat on that bench devastated because I wanted to play so, it is one of those situations. It sort of pushed me, making a decision to move on and try something different.”

Since leaving the club, Gerrard - who earns £75k-a-week at LA Galaxy - has stated several times that he plans to return to Anfield 'in some capacity', and a loan deal during the MLS off-season is an obvious possibility. However, according MLS commissioner Don Garber, there are no plans for Gerrard to goon loan to Liverpool.

When specifically asked yesterday about the possibility of a January return to Liverpool, Garber told The Telegraph:

"I don't think so and I had not heard that was something that was being contemplated. It doesn't happen as much as it used to and I don't believe we are going to see many more off-season loans happening in our league".

After such a long goodbye, it's arguably far too soon for Gerrard to contemplate a return to Liverpool, though it's probably inevitable that he'll wear the red shirt again at some point in the future.

To be honest, I'd take 35-year old Gerrard over Milner, Can, and Lallana any day of the week.

Author: Jaimie K


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