After 18 years as a professional football player, Steven Gerrard officially retired today, ending speculation that he could end up in Scotland for a year or reuniting with Rafa Benitez in the Championship. Close that door, though, and a window opens on speculation that he could be about to join Liverpool’s coaching staff.
Nobody on the outside knows for certain whether that’s going to happen straight away or in six months or a year perhaps, but most seem to think that, sooner or later, it’s what comes next for the Reds legend. And speaking to the press today, manager Jürgen Klopp dropped a major hint it could be happening sooner rather than later.
“This is not the room I want to speak about this,” Klopp noted when queried about Gerrard’s future. “When there is something to announce we will announce it and then we talk, you can imagine. That one day in the future there will be something to announce I’m pretty sure, too. But until then, there’s nothing to say.”
Nothing to say except that Klopp expects that there will be something to announce. Probably. Just not today. Not that that’s any real surprise given Gerrard’s status as the club’s greatest player of the Premier League era and regular talk in recent months that when he retires he will join the academy coaching staff.
The only real questions have until now been about whether he would retire this year or not, and if when he did retire he would take some time off from the game before moving into coaching. We now know the answer to that first question. To the second, it appears the answer may well end up being “soon.” But not today.
When Gerrard does join Liverpool as a coach—if he joins Liverpool as a coach—it is expected he will work at the academy in some capacity to start, likely working alongside Steve Heighway, who recently rejoined the academy and who, a little more than 18 years ago, oversaw the development of one Steven Gerrard.
“For everything in life you need room, space to do something and learn something new,” added the Liverpool manager. “If he’s retiring as a player the next thing he will do is new. He was a young player, he’ll be a young whatever. I’m the wrong person to talk about it because maybe all of you know him better than me.
“But the door is always open for him. From our side, if he wants it, it’s an open door and I’m sure he will. If he wants to make a different career from his former career we want to help him, that’s how it is. There is nothing else to say and maybe that was already too much.”