Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool homecoming has been confirmed with the club legend entering the next phase of his career by joining the Academy as a coach.
As Goal revealed in November, the 36-year-old held advanced talks with the Reds over helping shape their future generation as he takes steps towards management.
The positive discussions had preceded his retirement announcement, and following his decision to call time on a celebrated playing career, it became apparent Kirkby would be the setting for his new chapter despite several other offers.
Gerrard, who has been working towards his UEFA ‘A’ licence, will begin his duties in February. It will be in a floating role initially, with the chance to oversee an age group to be examined further down the line.
Having signed up to Liverpool’s youth structure as an eight-year-old in 1987 before going on to captain the club, lift its fifth European Cup, and earn his status alongside their pre-eminent greats, the move sees the former skipper come full circle.
However, Gerrard’s motivation to accept a position at the Academy wasn’t influenced by sentiment.
He made it clear during negotiations that any position he agreed to at Liverpool should hinge on what he could offer, how much he could learn, and the opportunity to make a substantial contribution.
"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.