Gerrard will Join LA Galaxy in June
Steven Gerrard declared that he would not be leaving Liverpool if the club had offered him a contract after the World Cup in the summer. The Reds captain, aged 34, was offered a new deal in November but opted to end his 25-year Anfield career and join Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the season. The midfielder said a November chat with manager Brendan Rodgers about reducing his playing time was crucial in helping him make his decision. Gerrard, who joined Liverpool’s academy at the age of nine, was offered a 12-month extension to his deal that month, but was only a substitute for a high-profile Champions League fixture at Real Madrid. Though he said he is “not angry” about the contract offer, he admitted his stance would have been different had a deal been on the table after the 2014 World Cup. “I’d just retired from England to concentrate all my efforts on Liverpool,” added Gerrard, who has scored 182 goals in 696 appearances for the club. “I didn’t want my club games to be tailored. “My injury record had been fantastic for the past two and a half years and I had a great season from a personal point of view last season. It’s all ifs, buts and hindsight now. That period between the summer and the end of November gave me thinking time.”
This season, he has contributed nine goals in 27 appearances, but insisted his decision to leave has “nothing to do” with recent results. “It simply came down to the fact that the idea of becoming a squad player didn’t excite me or motivate me,” added Gerrard, “I’ve never wanted to be a squad player. If I was missing games now, I’d be sitting out even more next season. I knew it would get worse and worse as time went on.” Gerrard, who has won 10 trophies at Liverpool, including the Champions League in 2005, becomes the second England captain to join LA Galaxy, after David Beckham played for them between 2007 and 2012, and is set to earn about £6m over 18 months at LA Galaxy.
The rumours surrounding a possible loan back to Liverpool in the MLS off-season have been quickly denied by Los Angeles Galaxy president Chris Klein who said this has never been discussed: “In the summer his focus will be LA Galaxy,” said Klein of Gerrard and he confirmed the Liverpool captain will make his debut on 17 July against San Jose. “Signing Steven ranks right up there with the likes of Beckham and Henry for a MLS franchise, we’re very excited about it. The attention it has created has been incredible. He’s a worldwide name and people are very excited.”
Steven Gerrard himself had declared that the MLS club were “aggressive” in pursuing him after he announced last week he was leaving Anfield at the end of the season and that it will be a “fresh challenge” for him and his family to take them “out of their comfort zone”.