Steven Gerrard will become a world-class manager who could take charge of Liverpool in the “near future”.
That’s the verdict of former Kop team-mate Stephane Henchoz, who has just been axed as manager of Swiss club Neuchâtel Xamax.
Anfield legend Gerrard has been a huge success at Rangers and is odds-on to deny bitter Old Firm rivals Celtic a 10th straight title by bringing the championship to Ibrox this season.
Leaders Rangers are clear at the top ahead of second-place Celtic, who have two games in hand.
Henchoz joined Liverpool from Blackburn in 1999 and soon forged a formidable centre-back partnership with Sami Hyppia as Gerard Houllier’s side claimed a famous League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup treble in 2001.
The Swiss 46-year-old said: “I played with some great players at Liverpool – Jari Litmanen, Nicolas Anelka, Gary McAllister, Emile Heskey, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen, who won the Ballon d’Or in 2001. But Stevie was the best and could play brilliantly in any position – he was world-class and I realised that after two training sessions with him!
“He was only a teenager then but also a natural leader, not only through what he said but more through what he did on the pitch.
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“I think he will become a world-class manager too. I follow Stevie’s progress at Rangers closely and I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the near future, he manages a top club like Liverpool.
“I played at Celtic for a short spell so I know how big the Old Firm clubs are.
“It might not be the best league in the world but there is huge pressure that comes with managing Rangers, so it wasn’t an easy option for Stevie to go there.
Do you agree with Henchoz's verdict on Gerrard? Have your say in the comments.
“He’s proved he can cope with the pressure and has been able to develop young players as well, so I think it’s the ideal preparation for maybe managing a top club in England.
“He’s doing a tremendous job and is going to win the league this season. Stevie will manage Liverpool one day, for sure – and I’d be willing to bet on that.
“Stevie and I still speak and he asked me for some advice about the Swiss lad, Cedric Itten, who he signed.”
Turning his attention to the current Liverpool set-up, Henchoz added: “Jurgen Klopp is having a tough time right now, but they can turn things around quickly.
“Every team in the world would struggle without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, plus Joel Matip has been injured.
“But I still think Liverpool can win the league.”
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