Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has expressed his delight at the news that Reds “icon” Steven Gerrard has signed a contract extension with the club.
Midfielder Gerrard, the Merseyside outfit’s 33-year-old captain who has spent his entire career with them, yesterday put pen to paper on what is understood to be a two-year deal.
Giving his reaction, Rodgers told LFC TV: “I’m absolutely delighted, as you can imagine.
“I’ve talked throughout pre-season about wanting to bring other players into the group, but this was one of the – if not the – most important signings for us.
“He’s an icon here at the football club – a real iconic figure for players and supporters.
“I think he’s still got a good few years left yet. His level of performance last year was outstanding.”
Aside from missing the last two games of the campaign due to a shoulder problem, Gerrard started every other one of Liverpool’s Barclays Premier League matches last season – Rodgers’ first in charge of the Reds, which saw them finish seventh.
So far this summer the Anfield club have added to their squad by bringing in goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, defender Kolo Toure and forwards Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas.
And having signed his new deal, Gerrard – who has made 630 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 159 goals, and won the 2005 Champions League, the 2001 UEFA Cup, two FA Cups and three League Cups – has spoken of his excitement about the future.
The Reds academy product, a first-team debutant in 1998, said: “I’ve got a lot of confidence and belief in my team-mates and in the coaches we’ve got.
“That’s the reason why I feel as if we can move forward together and get success back soon.
“I won’t lie to you, I’m really excited at the moment.”
Asked about his relationship with Rodgers, Gerrard – also the England skipper - said: “I think it’s perfect.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Brendan as a coach, but also as a guy as well.
“I’ve loved every minute of working with him since he came through the door and I hope he is here for certainly the next couple of years. I want to work with him more.
“The relationship is growing and I feel as if he is the man to take this club forward.”
Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said the club and the player – whose previous deal ran to next summer – would review the contract situation in 2015, but suggested Gerrard’s services had been secured “until the end of his career”.
Ayre said: “We’re pleased to add an extension to his existing agreement and that keeps him here until the end of his career.
“We’ve said what we’ll do in two years’ time is review it again and see how happy Steven is.
“We seem to always be happy with him, so hopefully we’ll just continue in that vein.”