Rafa Benitez: ‘Door open’ for Steven Gerrard at Newcastle

Steven Gerrard and Rafa Benitez
Steven Gerrard and Rafa Benitez
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Rafa Benitez says the “door is open” at Newcastle United if Steven Gerrard wants help starting out in coaching.

The LA Galaxy midfielder this week announced his retirement from playing.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

Gerrard – who won the Champions League with Benitez at Liverpool – is keen to get into coaching and management.

And Newcastle manager Benitez says he would happily help the 36-year-old make the transition, though Gerrard is expected to take up a post at Liverpool’s Academy.

Asked if he would welcome Gerrard at United, Benitez said: “I think the club was talking about it having an ‘open door policy’.

“You are talking about a player with such a high level and who has been so good that he could be a coach anywhere.

But if he wants to talk about that, then we can talk. Always, we have space for good people.

Rafa Benitez

“So I don’t think that he will say ‘oh, I will go to Newcastle’. Normally, he will say ‘I will go to Liverpool’.

“But if he wants to talk about that, then we can talk. Always, we have space for good people.”

Reflecting on his time working with Gerrard at Liverpool, Benitez said: “I was really lucky because we got the best from Steven.

“He scored 104 goals for us when we were there. He was the kind of player where you will not find too many now – a good professional and leader on the pitch.

“He was working so hard off the pitch and an example for everyone.

“He played in different positions so he was learning the understanding of the game, maybe he can be a good coach in the future.

“If he wants to talk to me about that, we can be in contact, and hopefully I can give him some good ideas.

“We are talking about one of the best payers I ever had. He can be an inspiration to the rest of the team like in Istanbul.

“Thanks to him, we won the Champions League in Istanbul. Everything was special that day.

“If he wants to come and talk about how to approach things, I can give my ideas, but he also has a lot of people around who can give him some advice.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Jack Colback and defender Grant Hanley have been ruled out of this afternoon’s home game against Blackburn Rovers with eye and shin injuries respectively.