As earlier revealed on Soccernews, Liverpool have announced that captain and hero Steven Gerrard will leave the club at the end of the season, after months of speculation about the midfielder’s future.
Gerrard’s contract will expire in the summer and lengthy negotiations had taken place about a new deal.
However, it seems a deal was unable to be agreed and the Reds star has decided to move on, with MLS mooted as a possible destination.
The news of him leaving was announced by a statement on social media that read: “LFC can confirm that Steven Gerrard is to leave the club at the end of the 2014-15 season.”
Steven Gerrard is without doubt one of the greatest players in the history of Liverpool. To many the veteran midfielder is the best player in the history of the club and the best Reds player of the Premier League era.
Gerrard has had an extraordinary influence on the Liverpool team for over 15 years. He has at times dragged his club and team through some desperate situations, scoring 180 goals in 695 appearances in the process for the Reds.
Steven Gerrard is not just a player he has become a symbol of Liverpool Football Club. There are very few players left in the Premier League who have such an iconic status at their club. Maybe only Chelsea’s John Terry can claim to have such an affinity with the club he represents.
Gerrard has won 11 major trophies with his boyhood club and has stuck with the Reds through thick and thin. A lot of other footballers would have move on to another club in order to claim more silverware, but rightly or wrongly Gerrard stayed at Liverpool.
The former-England international would not be regarded as such a hero with the clubs fans now if he had moved on. He has ensured with his performances on the pitch and his loyalty that he will live forever in the football clubs psyche.
This season Gerrard has come in for some very harsh criticism from his own fans. With him now in his veteran years as a footballer Gerrard has been moved into a more defensive role, which has not been a complete success.
The midfielder was always at his best when running at opposition defences from deep and causing damage from his central midfield role. He has never been a defensive midfielder, but age catches up to everybody and he is not able to do the box-to-box work he had done in previous seasons.
His age has almost forced him into a deeper role in midfield, where he has not always looked comfortable and that has led to criticism from Reds fans. If one man deserves some patience from the Liverpool fans then it is Steven Gerrard.
The Reds fans should remember the number of times he has dug his team out of a hole and the incredible memories he helped create for Liverpool. Instead there seems to have been a witch hunt to drop him from the team, from a minority of Liverpool fans might I add.
Most knowledgeable Reds fans realise what he has done for the team and club over the last 17 years at Anfield. He has never swerved responsibility or blamed anybody else, even when he played in some poor Liverpool teams. He has always stood up and been counted when the Reds have needed him.
Gerrard revealed that it was the toughest decision of his life in a statement. Here is some of that statement: “This has been the toughest decision of my life and one which both me and my family have agonised over for a good deal of time.
“I am making the announcement now so that the manager and the team are not distracted by stories or speculation about my future.
“Liverpool Football Club has been such a huge part of all our lives for so long and saying goodbye is going to be difficult, but I feel it’s something that’s in the best interests of all involved, including my family and the club itself.
“I’m going to carry on playing and although I can’t confirm at this stage where that will be, I can say it will be somewhere that means I won’t be playing for a competing club and will not therefore be lining up against Liverpool – that is something I could never contemplate”
It seems that Gerrard’s future could lie in the MLS, with speculation that the likes of LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls and New York City are also interested in acquiring Gerrard when his contract expires.
Signing Gerrard would be a major coup for any MLS franchise and he would no doubt be a big draw for American soccer fans.
Steven Gerrard leaving Liverpool is like the end of era. He has been such a good ambassador and saviour on the pitch at times for the Reds that it is hard to imagine him not wearing a red shirt next season.
Even fans of rival clubs have to admit that the midfielder has been a Premier League legend and admire his talents. Despite the fact that he is getting the end of his career Gerrard will not only be a big loss to Liverpool, but also to the Premier League.
Has Gerrard made the right decision in leaving Liverpool in the summer?
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