Jerzy Dudek: Steven Gerrard the 'Only' Man to Succeed Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2019

WARSAW, POLAND - AUGUST 22: Head coach of Rangers FC Steven Gerrard during the UEFA Europa League Play Off First Leg match between Legia Warsaw and Rangers FC on August 22, 2019 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Rafal Oleksiewicz/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)
PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek believes Steven Gerrard will be the only candidate considered to succeed Jurgen Klopp as Reds manager.

Klopp recently suggested he'll step away from football when his contract at Anfield expires in 2022:

Goal @goal

Jurgen Klopp was asked if he'll take a break from management when his Liverpool contract expires... https://t.co/n7vwOySAS2

In a column for Polish sports daily Przeglad Sportowy (h/t Goal's Josh Thomas), Dudek wrote:

"When I was in Liverpool recently no-one kept a secret of the fact that Steven is the main and only candidate for replacing the German when his era at Anfield comes to an end.

"Everyone knows that sooner or later, the great captain will return.

"I was surprised that Steven started working as a manager so quickly. Most of my team-mates or players from around the world need time before they eventually return to football."

Gerrard spent almost his entire playing career with Liverpool. Having joined the club as a child in 1989, he went on to make 710 appearances between 1998 and 2015 before joining Los Angeles Galaxy in the twilight of his career.

During that time, he won the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup, two FA Cups and four League Cups, among other honours.

After his retirement from playing in 2016, he secured his first job in management last year when he took over at Rangers.

Last season, he guided the side to second in the Scottish Premiership. In doing so, Rangers finished a place higher than they had in the previous campaign, with eight more points on the board, six more goals scored and 23 fewer conceded.

Following the team's 7-3 aggregate win over Midtjylland in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round earlier this month, sports journalist Stefan Bienkowski praised Gerrard's European record with Rangers:

Stefan Bienkowski @SBienkowski

Just two defeats from 20 games in Europe for Steven Gerrard at Rangers. Cant really argue with that.

Having made the transition into management, it seems almost inevitable Gerrard—who served as a youth coach at Liverpool before he joined Rangers—will take over in the Anfield hot seat at some point.

If Klopp fulfils his contract at Liverpool, Gerrard will have accrued another three years of managerial experience by then and potentially coached at a higher level than Scottish football.

The club will likely be looking at elite candidates to replace Klopp when he moves on given the German has restored them to that status during his time at the club, but it would come as little surprise if Gerrard was given a chance.