Phil Thompson: Gerrard’s Saudi move doesn’t end hopes of managing Liverpool

One Liverpool legend delivers his view on another.


Paddy Power ambassador Phil Thompson doesn’t think Steven Gerrard has waved goodbye to all hope of one day managing Liverpool by moving to Saudi Arabia.

Reds God Gerrard had success in the dugout at Rangers but struggled with Aston Villa in the Premier League. He’s now signed a two-year deal to take the reins at Saudi Pro League club Al-Ettifaq.

While the move looks to be a huge backwards step, Thommo thinks it’s a chance to take stock, regather his thoughts and come back stronger with the dream of one day managing at Anfield still very much alive.

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Gerrard still needs to prove himself in the Prem

When Steven Gerrard’s move to Saudi Arabia was first mooted and he turned it down, everybody said that made sense. But it was just a case of, where was Stevie going to turn up?

There were a few good jobs which I thought would be right for him like Leeds but I think he’s thought, two years out there managing in Saudi gives him a chance to get his reputation up, dare I say it.

There is going to be interest, people will want to know what’s happening in the Saudi league with all the hype that’s surrounding it and some high-profile players going there. Steven Gerrard is a high-profile manager to break the mould.

I think he thinks this makes sense. Listen, I can’t take anything away, the salary level is probably absolutely huge which, with everyone involved, has a massive bearing on the decision making.

Steven Gerrard Aston Villa

Does it affect his chances of ever managing Liverpool? I don’t think it is a top move for him. You can’t see him stepping straight from the Saudi league into the hot seat at Liverpool.

I imagine he’s looking to be out there for two years and then he’ll be targeting another Premier League job before he would be in the realms then of potentially taking over at Liverpool.

Ferguson should definitely stay at Brighton – for now

Evan Ferguson’s future is quite simple for me, if I was advising him. There will be a lot of teams interested in him but if he wants to move to a top team, where’s he going to play?

He needs to go somewhere where he’s starting regularly and I wouldn’t think he’d be getting that anywhere. He’s 18 years old, he’s still learning and he’s learning while playing for a good club at Brighton.

If I was him I’d stay at Brighton, at least for now. Just give it another 12 months at least, maybe even two years. I’d be saying to him, ‘It’s not doing you any harm.’

If he stays and plays well and continues to develop then the big boys will come clamoring, knocking down the door. The big thing is; progress will only happen while he’s playing.

Roberto Di Zerbi

If you’re warming benches that doesn’t help your development, as we’ve seen with Fabio Carvalho at Liverpool. What a talent he is, I thought it was going to be a great signing.

It didn’t happen, he didn’t get the game time after playing loads for Fulham, and now he’s gone out on loan to RB Leipzig. I’m sure Brighton will be thinking the same as me.

If they cling onto him, and develop him, his value will go up and up. They could be looking at £40m for him now but in 12 months time that might have doubled and he could be one of the most sought-after young players in the world.

I just hope he doesn’t go to Saudi Arabia! I think there’ll be plenty of interest from the Premier League and in Europe next summer.

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