Former Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has revealed in his upcoming autobiography that he held an “unofficial” role at the club during his final few years where he was asked to convince certain players to join Liverpool, the Daily Mail reports.
Gerrard claims that Brendan Rodgers would come to him with targets deemed as rather ambitious and the club hoped that one of our greatest ever players should make the first contact with the potential signings.
When giving examples, Gerrard details some interesting conversations he had with the likes of Brazilian playmaker Willian and Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos, both of whom decided to move elsewhere.
“In 2013, the latest player in our sights was Willian, the Brazilian midfielder,” Gerrard says with his book now being serialised in the Daily Mail.
“I slipped into the groove with Willian. I said hello and hoped he didn’t mind me contacting him directly.
“Willian thanked me and he said the usual, along the lines of, ‘I’d love to play with you, Steven, blah-blah-blah, but there are other clubs who play in the Champions League I need to talk to as well'”, Gerrard added.
Without the lure of Champions League football, trying to convince a foreign player to join Liverpool instead of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea was always going to be difficult.
However, Rodgers’ failure to sign Willian didn’t dishearten him and after we finished second in 2014, the boss asked Gerrard to get in contact with one Europe’s best midfield players.
Gerrard’s honesty when discussing what was to transpire is, both humorous, and rather refreshing.
“Our target in 2014 was ridiculously optimistic. Brendan asked me to take a crack at trying to talk Toni Kroos into signing for Liverpool. He smiled when I said we’d be p*****g into the wind with this one.”
The fact that we were intent on signing players of the highest calibre proves that the club remains ambitious to compete at the top-end of European football.
Having said that, it would be rather naive to think that players will want to join us ahead of clubs that are regularly competing in the Champions League.
It’s imperative that we qualify for Europe’s premier club competition as soon as possible in order to reposition ourselves as a force among the elite clubs.