Nov 30, 2013, 7:30 AM EDT
At age 33, the career of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard could be coming to a natural end. That, or the midfielder could see much less minutes, as his seemingly superhuman strength starts to wane with age. But Brendan Rodgers has a solution: shift Gerrard to defense.
“I look at Steven and I think he can play as a number two centre-half later in his career,” said the Liverpool manager. ”[He could] build the game from behind,” Rodgers continued, “How he passes the ball is as good as anyone in the world, short and long.”
Earlier this year, Gerrard signed a contract extension that will keep him at Anfield another two years. With the captain, who has spent his entire career as a Red, set to stay at Liverpool until after age 35, it’s natural for the manager to be contemplating ways to use him effectively. Yet the course of Gerrard’s career will, obviously, be determined by his fitness levels, as Rodgers himself admitted. But as of now, there are no issues with Gerrard’s health: “He is 34 at the end of this season, and I look at his fitness and I look at how he is playing and he is as fit as he has ever been. He is looking after himself,” said Rodgers.
That’s good news for Liverpool fans, who likely want to see their captain playing as long as possible — and to finish out his career in a Liverpool kit. If it means a shift to defense, well, it matters little. At least Gerrard will be playing, and most likely, playing effectively.
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