The Fab Five – Who Replaces Steven Gerrard?
As Steven Gerrard gears up for the long goodbye, the process of replacing the legendary Liverpool captain must start in earnest.
In terms of who succeeds Gerrard the modern day player, the search shouldn’t be too difficult; replacing Gerrard the icon will be far harder. We look at some possible candidates.
The Borussia Dortmund midfielder may only be returning from a long injury lay-off but does possess all the tools to recreate some of the magic Gerrard displayed at Anfield. Equally adept in defensive positions as well as in attack, the German international can play anywhere across the midfield.
With a superb ability to read the play, bite into a tackle as well as create and score goals, at 24, Gundogan would be a perfect replacement. A bid of around €20-25 million would tempt a BVB side in turmoil come summer.
Roma’s midfield dynamo Kevin Strootman isn’t long for the Italian capital and never has been, in truth. The former PSV Eindhoven star has been consistently linked with a move away only a few short months after his transfer to the Giallorossi.
The Dutch powerhouse, also returning from injury, is the archetypal midfielder. Big, strong and mobile, Strootman has an engine that would make an Audi blush and a left boot like a slingshot. Also just 24, he would present good business at in or around €25 million and one would think a chance to replace the great Gerrard would be tempting.
Scoff all you want but when at Aston Villa during Martin O’Neill’s reign, a young-ish Milner was heralded as the ‘new’ Steven Gerrard. Played centrally, the England international was the embodiment of a box-to-box midfield marauder with an eye for a goal.
His move to Man City seen him continually shunted out to the right but his versatility has seen him remain an invaluable member of the squad. At 29, and out of contract in the summer, a free move to Anfield to play in his strongest position during his prime would suit both parties.
The Marseille midfielder may be an unknown to most but his performances under Marcelo Bielsa this summer have pricked ears amongst European football’s biggest clubs. The powerful Congolese has arguably been ‘El Loco’s’ key performer during their rise to the top of Ligue 1 with an all-action style belying a relatively disciplined nature.
Signed for around €7.5 million a season earlier, his value will have doubled but a move to Liverpool to play regular football should be key in tempting the 22 year-old over signing for the likes of Chelsea.
Who better to replace a 34 year-old Steven Gerrard than a 21 year-old Steven Gerrard? Ross Barkley is the living, breathing recreation of the Liverpool icon 13 years later and a scouser to boot.
It would be an unlikely transfer given the fact that Everton would be asking for huge money and Barkley, as an Everton boyhood fan, might be reticent to join their city rivals, but any massive outlay would be repayed ten-fold over the years. Barkley has it all as a footballer and *will* go on to be England’s best footballer over the next decade or so.