Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes that Steven Gerrard is the best holding midfielder in European football.
The 33-year-old Reds skipper has long been viewed as one of the top box-to-box players on the planet, but has seen his role transformed in 2014.
Rodgers has opted against fielding him close to his attacking players, instead slotting him into a role at the base of the midfield.
Gerrard has since thrived, orchestrating the play from around his backline as the Merseysiders have notched up 10 wins on the spin to make them favourites for the Premier League title.
Although some still doubt his ability to hold down the position, Rodgers believes that his man is the best player in such a zone in the whole of Europe:
“There’s not many players who can do what he can do – be one of the best attacking midfield players in Europe and then switch to be arguably the best controlling player.” He is quoted by The Guardian.
“You look at the holding players in European football now at the top teams, I wouldn’t swap him for any of them, because of what he can give the team.
“For as long as I knew Steven Gerrard before I came in here, people would ask ‘Was he a player that just couldn’t fit in a team structure?’ He was the number 10 who needed to roam because he was so good, he needed to do that. He could lift the team and carry the team from whatever position he played.
“But the feature now is about the team and he’s in a structure he’s happy with. He’s got some top talents around him that can exploit his qualities and along with his intelligence and reading of the game, his physical condition in the role is very good as well. I could see him playing in there because of those playmaking skills. He can orchestrate the game.”
Gerrard has also weighed in with 13 goals, including a string of high-pressure penalty kicks in recent months.
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