Paul Merson: Steven Gerrard could be Liverpool FC manager ‘this time next year’

Paul Merson claims that Steven Gerrard's appointment as Aston Villa manager brings him a step closer to the Liverpool FC job

Steven Gerrard
Liverpool FC legend Steven Gerrard (Photo: BT Sport)

Paul Merson has claimed that Steven Gerrard could be Liverpool FC manager this time next year – and says the Aston Villa job is merely a “stepping stone” to Anfield for the former midfielder.

Gerrard was officially unveiled as Aston Villa’s new manager last week on a three-and-a-half year contract following the sacking of Dean Smith.

The former Liverpool FC midfielder leaves Rangers after having guided them to a first Scottish league title in 10 years last season.

Gerrard, 41, is now preparing to test himself as a manager in the Premier League and takes over with Villa 16th in the table and having only won three of their 11 games in the top flight this season.

The former Reds captain has long been spoken about as a potential candidate for the Liverpool FC manager’s job in the future – and former Arsenal midfielder Merson feels that it may not be long before Gerrard takes charge at Anfield.

Writing in his column for The Daily Star, Merson said: “Aston Villa is a stepping stone to Liverpool for Steven Gerrard. And if things go his way he could even be at Anfield this time next year. Stranger things have happened.

“Gerrard will be Liverpool manager one day. He is on the right path. I’m sure that’s his aim. He will have a plan. This is part of the journey.

“Sitting here today, you would you think he’s got no chance of being Liverpool manager next season. But things change quickly in football. If you’d said to me this time last year that Dean Smith would be out of a job, I’d have said no chance.

“It’s all about timing. If Liverpool start next season badly or Jurgen Klopp wakes up morning and decides to walk away, who else are they going to go for?

“If Steven Gerrard does well at Villa in the Premier League then surely he is the first one Liverpool would turn to.”

Speaking after his appointment last week, Gerrard revealed his pride at being handed the role at Villa Park and praised the club’s owners for their “ambitious” plans for the future.

“Aston Villa is a club with a rich history and tradition in English football and I am immensely proud to become its new head coach,” said Gerrard.

“In my conversations with [co-owners] Nassef [Sawiris], Wes [Edens] and the rest of the board, it was apparent how ambitious their plans are for the club and I am looking forward to helping them achieve their aims.”

Gerrard’s first game in charge will be a home clash against Brighton and Hove Albion at Villa Park on Saturday. He will take his Villa side to Anfield to take on Liverpool FC on 11 December.

Meanwhile, Liverpool FC are currently fourth in the Premier League table and four points behind leaders Chelsea FC as they prepare for their crunch home clash against Arsenal on Saturday.

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