Already in his short time at the helm of the great ship Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp has already shown himself to be an extremely able and clever captain.
He has successfully steered the Anfield side around the early obstacles of Chelsea and Manchester City away (in little over a month he has already won against more title contenders away from home than Brendan Rodgers ever did), as well as progressing nicely in the Europa League and picking up several other valuable wins in the Premier League.
Now it would appear he has made a tactically and strategically shrewd move off the pitch as well, as club icon and legend Steven Gerrard will train with the side at Melwood until January, after the conclusion of his first season with MLS side LA Galaxy.
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Klopp and Gerrard have previously made it perfectly clear that the former midfield enforcer will not be returning to the club on a playing basis, but will instead be allowed to train mostly for his own benefit at the club until around January, when he is set to return to California.
This has the makings of a masterstroke from Klopp.
Firstly, no matter how much all parties try and play it down, this will excite the supporters. Miserable, and left with a Stevie G shaped hole in their hearts when he left in the summer, just the news that their hero is returning to the city and to the training ground will be greeted with jubilation and a sense of the return of the king.
The effect he could potentially have on the players and on the atmosphere at training cannot be overstated. It could well serve as yet another way of galvanising a squad that already looks much more fired up and confident under than Klopp than when his predecessor was in charge.
With a squad currently in place with few local lads in it, Gerrard’s presence could well act as an inspiration to some of the new signings and young players from overseas, who will all of course know his reputation and achievements as the Liverpool captain.
Put simply, Gerrard is Liverpool. Under Rodgers at points, especially towards the end of last season and at points during the early months of this campaign, it appeared at times that the Reds had lost the identity and the style that made them a Premier League force as recently as early 2014.
Having Gerrard around the group, even if it’s only for a month or so, might help remind them of that identity and dynamism that is necessary to wear the shirt bearing the Liver Bird.
Not only this, but having a man who at his peak was easily one of the best central midfielders in Europe (maybe even worldwide) will surely help the other players in the squad when it comes to their training sessions. His touch, range of passing, shooting, dynamic style of play, tacking, long range shooting – any of the young players in Liverpools squad looking to enhance their game would do well to watch and learn.
Jordan Rossiter, Jordan Ibe and Jon Flanagan, to name but a few, could hardly fail to be impressed. Not only this, but I can think of worse people to have around the place if Liverpool try and sign any players in the January transfer window, particularly if they are local lads who have grown up watching Gerrard.
So there you have it. Bringing a man back to be around the club who will inspire the young players, provide an exemplary approach to training and set a first class attitude to everything he does – there is no downside to this move, and Klopp should be commended for yet another brilliant decision.