With Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard delaying his decision to signing a new deal that manager Brendan Rodgers said was on the table for him, should the 34-year-old seriously consider moving abroad?
When asked about his future with the Merseyside club, Gerrard said: “I’ll decide when I’m ready. There’s nothing to say on the contract at the moment. When there is, the fans have known me long enough, I’ll come out and say what I need to say.”
While in the eve of his playing career, the former England international has made it clear that he wants to play on for at least another season. He has an impressive CV that could have been so much better had he left Liverpool in the past, but his unwavering loyalty to stay at Anfield has led to positives and negatives.
Last season, he captained the Reds to second in the Premier League table. Fast-forward seven months, and Liverpool find themselves on the brink of a premature elimination in the Champions League, as well as being 16 points adrift of Premier League leaders Chelsea after just 14 games.
A player of Gerrard’s calibre shouldn’t be settling for a top-four finish, so will be he looking to interested sides abroad as a potential destination to end his career? The long-serving Liverpool midfielder will certainly be looking at the likes of Andrea Pirlo, 35, who has continued to win league titles with Juventus despite his advancing age, playing in a position Gerrard has adopted under Brendan Rodgers in the last 18 months.
The Italian Serie A is viewed as a much slower division than the English Premier League, which would suit the Whiston-born player perfectly, as the emphasis is on passing rather than pace and industry. It’s a similar case in the Spanish La Liga, with clubs favouring ball retention in a lower tempo. And despite his form being below par for Liverpool this season, there would be a host of interested clubs that would come in for Gerrard should he turn down a contract extension.
His deal is up this summer, and given how far away Liverpool look from a trophy, the lure of playing for a top side in Italy or Spain at the eve of his career could tempt him away.
In a recent interview, Steven Gerrard admitted he would likely look back on his career with regret for turning down moves to Europe’s elite in the past, but there’s still time. The Englishman has been a brilliant servant for the club, and surely wouldn’t begrudge him a move to a top foreign outfit.
His former international teammates Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Micah Richards have all signed for clubs abroad, and have recommended many follow the trend. He may have a love affair with Liverpool, but if Steven Gerrard wants to end his career with trophy success, he may need to consider the unthinkable and leave for a foreign club.