Jamie Carragher has warned Steven Gerrard against returning to the club on loan next season, claiming that doing so could put his Liverpool legacy at risk.
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Gerrard said an emotional farewell to the Liverpool fans following yesterday’s game against Crystal Palace. However, it has been muted that the 34-year-old, who joins LA Galaxy next month, could return during the MLS off-season.
Carragher, who played as Gerrard’s teammate in the Liverpool first-team for 15 years, warned against any such return, claiming that our long-serving captain would do better to simply savour his current memories.
In quotes taken by Sky Sports, he said: “I hope he doesn’t come back on loan. Make a clean break from the football side of it, go away for a couple of years, get out of that Liverpool bubble.
“It will be good mentally to move away, and then come back in some role, but not in a playing capacity. Steven Gerrard is a figurehead for this city, not just the football club, and he has had to carry that.
“I don’t think you can replace that [Gerrard]. Man United are still looking for the next Keane, Arsenal are still looking for the next Vieira, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful and do well.
“Today we were still waiting for Gerrard to do something that at 34 he is not capable of doing. Everyone looked to him. He will not be forgotten.”
The former defender’s suggestions will no doubt come as a disappointment to most Liverpool fans, who would jump at the chance to see Gerrard return, even for just a handful of games.
Gerrard has also been tipped to return to Liverpool in a coaching position, something that another former Reds star, Jamie Redknapp, surprisingly doesn’t agree with.
“I hope he doesn’t come back as manager here,” Redknapp said. “He is a hero. If he comes back and gets sacked his legacy will be ruined. People like Gerrard come along every two generations. They are gifted players.
“As soon as you see him play you know it. He is one of those sort of guys that has time for everyone. What you see is what you get. He wears his heart on his sleeve.”