The wait is over. Steven Gerrard will return to Liverpool as a youth coach. Gerrard will work at the Academy in a full-time position starting in February. The role is described as “wide-ranging” and will presumably be part of developing Gerrard as a high-quality coaching asset to the club he made 710 appearances for.
When the 36-year-old rejected a chance to manage MK Dons in late November last year, the presumption was that he would eventually take up a coaching position at his boyhood club. It wasn't a surprise as it was revealed in the previous month that he was in talks with Liverpool over what his coaching role would entail. Today, those details have finally been confirmed.
For Gerrard, returning to Liverpool seemed to be his priority after announcing his retirement shortly after rejecting MK Dons’ managerial offer. A global talent who played so much on wondrous instinct and emotion, utilising an intangible understanding of the grand occasion, downplayed the forces of the heart when he spoke of the next step in his career.
"It feels like completing the circle; returning to the place where professionally it all began," Gerrard said. "However, this isn't a decision based on emotion - it's about what I can offer and contribute to Liverpool.
"I don't think I need to explain to people what this football 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.
"Meeting with Alex Inglethorpe, seeing the work they are currently doing and want to do in the future at Kirkby, it just felt right. The right option at the right time, for all parties involved.
"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."
17 years a Liverpool player. Now back as a coach at Liverpool. Gerrard may not have got a chance to play for Jürgen Klopp, but now he can get to work under him and develop as a coach. Welcome back, Stevie.