Steven Gerrard is the definition of Liverpool Football Club. He is the first player that you imagine when you talk about the team. He has twice turned down the chance to jump ship to London and sign for arch-rivals Chelsea and on the second of these occasions committed the rest of his career to wearing the Red of Liverpool FC. However, off the back of possibly his most inefficient and unproductive season since he took the captaincy in 2003 there are once again questions over Gerrard’s future. Reportedly Jose Mourinho’s top target at Real Madrid, even Gerrard himself has refused to commit his future to Liverpool declining to comment on questions over the speculation linking him with a summer move away from Merseyside. So, is it time to cash in on a player who, in terms of football, is ‘getting on a bit’? Or do we need our captain and the heartbeat of our team for the past decade to help fire Liverpool back to where we belong? I, along with the majority of Liverpool supporters would give their right arm for Gerrard to stay, nevertheless, the crucial question is, does Steven Gerrard want to stay at Liverpool Football Club or is the temptation to move to Madrid and work under Jose Mourinho too substantial to turn down?
Only a handful of Liverpool fans would realistically want the club to cash in on Steven Gerrard, regardless of such a poor showing in the 2009/2010 season. Less than a month ago Stevie turned 30, the dreaded age for a footballer; as it signals the home straight in terms of a players career with potentially 3 maybe 4 honourable years of playing time left in their ageing legs. Gerrard, aswell as the lion’s share of Liverpool supporters, know that it is going to take Liverpool at least half of them 4 years for the team to get back to challenging for the title once again. Can Gerrard afford to use up half of his remaining playing time competing in Europa League football and trying to force his team into the top 4 of a domestic league? Sadly, I don’t think so. The only trophy that has evaded Gerrard so far in his career is a domestic league title and, although he would not want to win the Premier League with any other club than Liverpool, a domestic league winner’s medal in Spain can only be an attractive proposition for our captain. This, coupled with Real Madrid’s seemingly unlimited transfer budget, is a daunting prospect for Reds fans worldwide.
On the other hand, Steven Gerrard surely, in his heart of hearts, couldn’t leave Liverpool in the state we are currently in. Managerless, competing in the second tier of European football for the first time in nearly a decade and in the hands of uncaring, uninterested owners. Or could he? Gerrard is in no way to blame for the abject failure of Liverpool FC over the past 12 months and, after all the success he has spear-headed for the club, Stevie arguably doesn’t owe Liverpool anything and who could blame if he decided to head for pastures new in search of silverware? Liverpool Football Club needs Steven Gerrard but not one player is bigger than the club, therefore, if Stevie wants to leave then we have to let him go, gracefully. If this is the case, and Stevie does want to move on, then the club has to do all it can to demand the biggest possible transfer fee for our captain and cannot be held to ransom by the filthy-rich figureheads of Real Madrid Club de Futbol.
In terms of Steven Gerrard staying at Liverpool, it seems as though the gap between hope and expectation has increased as the majority of Liverpool supporters can now only hope that Gerrard, for a third time in his career, turns down a move elsewhere, to commit his future to staying on Merseyside. Do I want Steven Gerrard to stay at Liverpool? 110% yes. Do I honestly believe Steven Gerrard will stay at Liverpool? It pains me to say it, but no.
Follow us on twitter @live4Liverpool
Live4Liverpool is recruiting columnists. For further info contact the site editor at email@example.com