Jamie Carragher says Steven Gerrard will not use Rangers as a stepping stone just to land a job in the Premier League.
Gerrard is closing in on his first trophy as a manager and Rangers’ first league title in 10 years, with his side just four points off sealing their status as champions.
Many believed Gerrard would look to return to English football after landing his first piece of silverware at Rangers, with Carragher admitting Premier League clubs would be lining up to hire him.
But the Sky Sports pundit feels his former teammate’s career path is now shaping up differently ahead of him prior to the ultimate end goal of managing boyhood club Liverpool.
“There was a time when I might have gone along with the idea that Rangers is a good first stepping stone for my former Liverpool teammate, and he should have his eye on a swift Premier League return in readiness for an inevitable Anfield reunion later in his career,” Carragher wrote in his column for The Telegraph.
“Having seen what he is building at Rangers, I do not believe he has to leave Ibrox and prove himself anywhere else. Certainly not yet.”
It seems Gerrard is the candidate-in-waiting to succeed Jurgen Klopp when he eventually steps down at Liverpool – so it’s perhaps no coincidence that the contracts of both managers each end in 2024.
There is of course still time for Gerrard to achieve success elsewhere before Klopp moves on, while he has conceded previously he is aware he may not even be in the running when the moment comes..
But as for his next step, Carragher explained how Rangers were giving Gerrard the “ideal platform to develop the winning habit” and believes his friend is now “settling in for the long haul”.
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He cited his friend’s love for his new surroundings and his passion for the club – evident by his angry reaction and subsequent sending off in midweek – as examples of his commitment to the cause.
The 40-year-old has had to motivate his side without the presence of supporters this season, in a ground which is famous for its passionate atmosphere.
That naturally has its drawbacks, but none more so than when they finally do get to lift the trophy, which will be in front of largely empty stands.
And he’s not just achieved success at home, but also abroad as well, with Rangers through to the last-16 of the Europa League for the first time since 2008.
Will Gerrard be the man to replace Klopp at Liverpool? Have your say below.
Sadly any great European nights at Ibrox will have to wait a little longer for their loyal fanbase, who will have to watch on from their TV screens at home.
But with a place in next season’s Champions League group stage now also a realistic possibility, Carragher expects the prospect of competing against Europe’s finest will be enough to satisfy Gerrard’s ambitious streak.
“When you have that level of trust, loyalty and adulation, it is not easily sacrificed for a club in the bottom half of the Premier League, where the ambition of mid-table safety would not put the same fire in his belly,” Carragher added.
“A character like Gerrard will always live for trophies, and to feel he is somewhere where his highest ambitions are matched and can be realistically satisfied.”