In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or so, Steven Gerrard is leaving Liverpool at the end of the season. The 34-year-old Reds skipper will, likely, end his career in America with the LA Galaxy, and although he’s been criticised this term for some lethargic showings, it’s clear the Merseysiders will miss their local hero.
But their first Premier League game since the announcement offered some signs of life beyond Gerrard… an here are THREE.
Whispers among Liverpool fans indicate that Emre Can can be Gerrard’s long-term replacement. The German arrived over the summer, and seems to now be forcing his way into Brendan Rodgers’ plans, albeit at centre-back. But when the skipper went off at half-time he was shifted into a more advanced role, on the right, and looked an attacking threat. His driving runs, strong frame and powerful shooting are all positive signs.
Think we’ve already got Gerrard’s CDM replacement in Emre Can! The lad is a beast! Only going to get better
— Joe Caven (@JoeCaven) January 10, 2015
Emre Can is the Gerrard replacement imo
— yosef (@YosefM14) January 10, 2015
Yeah Steven Gerrard’s (positional) replacement next season will definitely be Emre Can. BR deploys them exactly the same way!
— Prince Stevie G (@flavolous) January 10, 2015
Liverpool have a young squad, with a few of the new kids on the block having been drafted in over the summer. One of those players is Lazar Markovic, who has struggled in what has been a tough season so far for the Merseysiders. But with a run in the team, the 20-year-old has been good of late, and capped his rise with a goal, albeit a scrappy one, at the Stadium of Light. Alberto Moreno, Fabio Borini and the aforementioned Can are also emerging talents, and looked impressive.
coutinho and markovic have been really excellent today
— Max (@yeswechang) January 10, 2015
Markovic has been excellent today. Looks a prospect on this performance #LFC
— Steven Nicholson (@st3nicho) January 10, 2015
Liverpool truly dominated the first 45 minutes at the Stadium of Light, but a host of chances were spurned, leaving them just the one goal up. Gerrard then went off, Bridcutt was sent off and Sunderland well and truly picked up their game. Liverpool are renowned for being a little soft, but the Reds showed some bottle in the windy North East, illustrating that they can dig in without their skipper.
Liverpool been excellent in difficult conditions, Coutinho & Markovic impressive & Mignolet taking no chances with the ball at his feet!
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) January 10, 2015
Excellent performance of calmness and intelligence today from Lucas. Very understated but gave the likes of Markovic & Coutinho a platform.
— Dave Tyrer (@DavrosTy) January 10, 2015