Steven Gerrard hinted he may play further forward than Liverpool fans became accustomed to late in his Anfield career, as he prepares for his MLS debut with LA Galaxy.
While the 35-year-old made his Galaxy bow in the International Champions Cup against America and came on at half-time in their U.S. Open Cup loss on Tuesday, Friday’s California Clasico against San Jose Earthquakes will still be a special moment in Gerrard’s career in the United States.
Ahead of his first taste of MLS action, Gerrard was asked if he could fill in up front for the Galaxy and did not rule out the possibility, although it seems more likely that the former England international will play in behind captain Robbie Keane.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena is unable to call on Gyasi Zardes, Alan Gordon and new signing Giovani dos Santos (all international duty) in the forward third, while Jose Villarreal is struggling to be fit.
“You know, we’ve got an injury to Villarreal and Alan Gordon’s been called up to the national team, Zardes is away, so we’re a little bit limited as far as forwards are concerned,” Gerrard said.
“I’m always willing to fill in and do what the manager’s asked of me. I don’t want to give too much away for tomorrow but I’ll be ready to play in whatever position the manager asks me to play.”
While Gerrard generally played behind a lone striker during the peak of his Liverpool career, the veteran was used more as a holding midfielder over the last couple of years.
Arena claimed it will not matter where Gerrard plays.
“His passing is pretty good and he can bring people into the game pretty quickly,” the 63-year-old said.
“So wherever we play him, he’ll be a factor.”
Gerrard also praised Galaxy’s capture of Dos Santos, who was announced as the club’s latest signing on Wednesday.
“He’s very clever, he’s very intelligent, he comes alive in the final third,” he said.
“And we’re hoping he can help create chances and score goals for us and also work hard for the team. That’s the message from Bruce – no matter what position or what player you are, you work hard for the team.
“That’s number one, and then, hopefully, your skill and your talent kicks in, and Dos Santos has plenty of that.”
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