Steven Gerrard lifts Champions League trophy after their win against AC Milan in May 2005. Photo/Mirror

Steven Gerrard has made a dramatic return to Liverpool – and insisted it is the first step on his road to the top as a manager.

The Reds legend revealed his emotion at “completing the circle”, but taking a full time role in the club’s academy, the place where it all began for him as a wide-eyed nine year old training two nights a week.

Academy boss Alex Inglethorpe announced that the former England and Anfield captain will be given “a wide-ranging role in the professional development phase of the young players”.

He will start in February, and could also combine it with some work within the FA, where he could help guide the next generation of England stars.

And he made clear the move is not through sentiment, but because he believes it is the best place he can learn the art of management, as he attempts to get to the very top.

“It feels like completing the circle; returning to the place where professionally it all began. However, this isn’t a decision based on emotion – it’s about what I can offer and contribute to Liverpool,” he insisted.

Photo/Getty

“I don’t think I need to explain to people what this football club means to me, but when I knew coming back was a serious option I wanted to make sure it was a substantive role and a role in which I could really help the organisation.

“Meeting with Alex Inglethorpe, seeing the work they are currently doing and want to do in the future at Kirkby, it just felt right. The right option at the right time, for all parties involved.

“This gives me a great opportunity to learn and develop as a coach, while at the same time offering my knowledge, ideas and experience to the young players at an important period of their development.”

While Gerrard was never going to turn down the chance to return to Anfield, he has always made clear he wants to become a manager one day, and he seriously considered taking the job at MK Dons just before Christmas.

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He has had other approaches too, to go into management at a league level, but instead he met with both Inglethorpe and boss Jurgen Klopp, and was persuaded that this role offers him the chance to learn without an intense spotlight.

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The club made the announcement on Friday, with Inglethorpe explaining that Gerrard will be given the chance to manage some of the junior teams, and impart the vast experience he gained during a glittering 20 year career that saw him rise from Academy trainee to England star.

“He has shown great humility in making it clear from the outset he wants a role where he can contribute to Liverpool; it’s typical of him that his priority has been defining the role so it helps the club, ahead of himself,” the Academy director explained.

“He has expressed a desire to learn from us and manage a young team. The benefits to us will be immense. This is a substantial role and one which makes the Academy and the club in general stronger and better.”

“For him to have been so enthusiastic about being part of what we are looking to do is simply great news for everyone connected to the club.”

“I don’t think it would surprise anyone to know that Steven has had a host of great options, in terms of what to do next in his career, including playing, management and coaching. But it’s been evident from the first meeting with him that his heart and head belongs here.”

Gerrard has in fact, been working with some of the youth teams at the Liverpool Academy already, whilst working on his coaching badges since he retired from football, following a spell with LA Galaxy.

He will take up the full time role that will be confined to the younger players at present, but will be offered the chance to develop his career at Anfield, and move through the ranks towards the first team coaching squad.

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