Rangers forward Jermain Defoe has backed Steven Gerrard to take over as Liverpool boss in the future, predicting that the Anfield legend’s ‘main goal’ as a manager is to lead his former club.
Gerrard began his coaching career at Liverpool in January 2017 when he took on a role in the youth setup. Within a few months he was promoted to Under-18s manager, before Rangers offered him the manager’s job at Ibrox ahead of the 2018/19 season.
The ex-Liverpool skipper has overseen improvement year on year since taking the Rangers job, progressing both domestically and in Europe, before this season delivering the club’s first Scottish Premiership title since financial ruin in 2012 led to starting all over again in the bottom tier of the SFL.
Gerrard has three more years left on his Rangers contract after signing an extension last month, but Defoe, who signed for the Glasgow club in 2020, has suggested that managing Liverpool will be a part of the 40-year-old’s future at some point.
“[Managing Liverpool] is probably the main goal. That’s probably what he’s striving for,” Defoe told talkSPORT this week.
“Because he’s done so well and that’s what he’s striving for and [Rangers] is his first main job really. He went from Liverpool Under-18s straight to Rangers, even then people probably thought that was a big job for your first job.
“To dominate domestically was special, but people might look at it and think it’s either going to be Celtic or Rangers [who win in Scotland], but to compete in Europe as well,” Defoe added, referring to Rangers reaching the Europa League last 16 in both 2019/20 and 2020/21.
“At some point I think he will go on to manage Liverpool.”
The question that needs answering is…when? Jurgen Klopp has transformed Liverpool into one of the best teams in the world since arriving at Anfield in October 2015, but the German left both his previous clubs after seven years and is now only 18 months off that mark on Merseyside.
After the successes of back-to-back Bundesliga titles and reaching a Champions League final, Klopp appeared fatigued when Borussia Dortmund’s form dropped in 2014 and he announced his departure shortly before the end of the 2014/15 season.
Liverpool have experienced a similar downturn in performances since winning the Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and Premier League over the course of two seasons, although there have been no claims of substance that Klopp is preparing to quit the club. His contract ends in 2022.
Klopp’s future at Liverpool beyond next season could well depend on how the club reacts to a poor 2020/21 campaign by recent standards. The squad is already in need of some refreshening from the title-winning side and that necessity will only increase over the coming months. It will likely be up to the boss to decide whether his ambitions still match those of the Anfield hierarchy and whether he has still the drive, motivation and energy to oversee the next chapter.
Source : 90min