Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has criticized Liverpool for not showing love to Steven Gerrard at the end of his 17 years career at Liverpool.
Steven Gerrard joined Liverpool’s academy at the age of nine and rose through the ranks to make his first-team debut at the age of eighteen years in the Premier League against Blackburn Rovers in 1998.
The former Liverpool captain made 710 appearances for Liverpool in a spine of 17 years scoring 185 goals in the process. Steven Gerrard won the UEFA Champions League in 2005 and the UEFA Super Cup in 2001.
Gerrard is viewed as one of the greatest players to have donned the Liverpool jersey. because of his loyalty to Liverpool, Steven Gerrard turned down a bumper deal from Chelsea to stay at Anfield in 2005.
What did Rio Ferdinand say?
Speaking on his Five podcast YouTube channel, Rio Ferdinand slammed Liverpool for lack of loyalty towards Steve Gerrard at the end of his career at Liverpool.
Ferdinand said: “Let’s look at the Steven Gerrard case, he’s been loyal to them,’ the former defender said. ‘He had obscene offers probably from Chelsea, they courted him, they tried every which way they could through players, and what not trying to get him and unsettle him.
“He became unsettled, flirted with the idea a little bit, but actually, loyalty probably made him stay at Liverpool. Whatever happened, he was courted by Chelsea. He decides to stay, and then he gets towards the end of his career and the club doesn’t want to give him a new deal.”
Steven Gerrard retired at the age of 34 after competing another two seasons at LA Galaxy in the Major League Soccer after leaving Liverpool in 2015.
However, Rio Ferdinand believes Liverpool should have kept Steven Gerrard around as a player-coach.
Rio Ferdinand continued: “Bearing in mind [he’s] arguably the club’s best-ever player, been a part of iconic moments at the football club and would have had so much to offer young players staying there from a culture, a mentality and somebody they can look at and identify as a local lad, but they let him go to LA Galaxy.
“He could stay there as a player-coach and groom him into being a coach in the system that they’ve got or a manager, but they chose to do something different and allowed him to go to LA Galaxy.
“So when you talk about loyalty, maybe if the club was being shown an element of loyalty there they might have gone, you know what, because of that loyalty he’s showing us, we’re going to give him a bit back at the end of his career.”
Steven Gerrard is currently the coach of Aston Villa in the Premier League.