When Steven Gerrard took over as manager of Aston Villa this season, many saw it as a stepping stone in his journey to fulfill his ambition of managing Liverpool FC. With current manager Jürgen Klopp’s contract set to expire at the end of the 2024 season when Gerrard took the job, it seemed a real possibility that he could be in line to take over for the German in 2024 if he could prove himself capable of getting results in the Premier League.
There is still every possibility that Gerrard could be Klopp’s successor, but it won’t come until at least 2026 after news broke yesterday that LFC had extended the manager’s contract another two years.
Gerrard could be forgiven for being disappointed or saddened to know that his hopes of managing the side he grew up supporting and playing for would have to be put on hold for a little longer, but if that’s how he feels he certainly did an excellent job of hiding it.
Speaking with the press ahead of tomorrow’s visit from Norwich City, Gerrard couldn’t help but let his face betray his feelings when asked about Klopp’s contract extension.
“I think you can tell by the smile,” admitted Gerrard. “Listen, Liverpool fans worldwide are delighted with the news. Congratulations to Jurgen and his staff. I think it will be Liverpool’s most important signing for many years to come, that’s how highly we all think of him. It’s terrific news for Liverpool football club.”
It’s fun to see that the man who has adored LFC for his entire life is so happy that the club will stay in Klopp’s incredibly capable hands for at least four more seasons, even if it delays his own personal ambitions. Gerrard knows what Klopp has built is an enormous feat, and he clearly recognizes how important that is to the club and its supporters.
“He certainly deserves it, for the way he’s performed from a personal point of view. I think the fans have been craving that signing for some time. He’s built a world-class team and I think they’re on the cusp of something really special.
“We can have an influence in that, so that will be interesting when they come to Villa Park. We wish them well outside of that fixture and I think it’s totally deserved and it’s fantastic news, the most important signing for a very long time at the club.”
The man who many see as the next Liverpool manager, probably himself included, calling Klopp’s contract extension “the most important signing for a very long time at the club” is one hell of an endorsement. Gerrard’s love for LFC and desire to see them be successful clearly has not diminished, and hearing his emphatic support for Klopp’s extension, even at the expense of delaying his own dreams of managing the club, will be music to many supporters’ ears.