Steven Gerrard ‘deserves to be Liverpool manager’ as Reds told to snub two bosses | Football | Sport

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Steven Gerrard “deserves a chance” to be the Liverpool manager believes Yossi Benayoun, despite fears the former captain isn’t up to standard. Since winning the league unbeaten with Rangers, Gerrard’s stock has plummeted and he now manages Al-Ettifaq out in Saudi Arabia.

The 43-year-old played 710 times for the Reds, scoring 185 goals, and is one of the club’s greatest ever players. And the local-born former midfielder was naturally championed as a future Liverpool manager after guiding Rangers to the Scottish Premiership title in 2021.

But he has since been axed by Aston Villa after only 40 games with a win rate of just 32.5 per cent, and is now in Saudi Arabia where his record is not much better. He has only won eight of 22 games with a 36.4 per cent win ratio, and Jordan Henderson quit the club just six months after the Saudis lured him out of Anfield.

Yet Benayoun, Gerrard’s former team-mate, says Gerrard should be the main man Liverpool go to to replace Jurgen Klopp if they cannot get Xabi Alonso. Bayer Leverkusen’s Alonso is the No. 1 target thanks to his success in the Bundesliga, with the Spaniard’s team eight points unbeaten across all competitions after 33 games and eight points clear at the top of the league.

The Telegraph say Sporting boss Ruben Amorim and Germany tactician Julian Nagelsmann, who previously coached Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim, are the main back-up picks.

Liverpool have drafted a list of Plan Bs in case Alonso stays in Leverkusen or takes the Bayern Munich job which Thomas Tuchel will vacate at the end of the campaign. But Benayoun would like to see Gerrard get a chance.

He told the Daily Mail: “For me it has to be someone with an identify to Liverpool. If they can bring someone like Xabi [Alonso], or — and this might be a surprise — someone like Steven Gerrard, one of them will continue what Klopp has built because they know the club.

“Xabi is a good friend of mine and I can see why people are speaking about him as a Liverpool manager. It didn’t work well at Aston Villa for Stevie, but he did a great job in Scotland.

“He deserves a chance to be coach at Liverpool for what he did in his career. If they bring in the right person, Liverpool can build on the stability of Klopp over the last nine years.

“Not to change 35 players and everyone leaving. OK, some players may go but top players will always want to come to Liverpool. Now they are fighting for titles and Klopp is the main man, but it’s a big club, they have the facilities and conditions to continue being a big club.”

Asked back in 2021 if Gerrard will ever manage Liverpool, Klopp said: “Oh yes I do, absolutely. The only thing is when is the right moment for that. I think that Stevie is doing really well.

“He’s very young from a manager’s point of view so it’s just when is the right moment for him to take the job. Yes, I believe it will definitely happen and be good for everyone.”

But more recently, he claimed Alonso is the “standout” coach in Europe. Klopp said of the 42-year-old Spaniard: “Xabi is doing an incredible job. The next generation is already there and I would say Xabi is a standout in that department…

“Former world-class player, from a coaching family as well which helps a little, he was like a coach already when he was playing. The football he is playing, the teams he sets up, the transfers he did, it is absolutely exceptional.

“How quick his team is that well tuned, for the time it’s taken, he’s put his proper stamp on it.” Leverkusen were near the bottom of the Bundesliga when Alonso took over but 18 months later, he could win the treble this season with Die Werkself going strong in the league, the DFB Pokal and the Europa League.

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