Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned captain Steven Gerrard that he will not be guaranteed a place in the starting XI when he returns from his spell on the sidelines, BBC Sport has reported.
The 34-year-old has missed the last six games with a hamstring injury, but could be back available for Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final clash with Championship side Blackburn Rovers. However, the Reds have been in fine form in his absence, winning all of their games except the penalty shootout defeat to Besiktas in the Europa League’s Round of 32.
Jordan Henderson has taken on the role of skipper in recent weeks and has been in impressive form, while the team have averaged more goals this season when Gerrard has not been in the team – 2.3 per game compared to 1.3 when he has featured.
And Rodgers, who will see Gerrard leave Anfield in the summer after nearly 17 years in the club’s first-team, insists that the former England captain is not certain to come straight back into the team. He said: “There is no-one in the squad who has a God-given right to walk straight into the team.
“I have shown in my time here that players who are performing well, irrespective of price or status, they play – simple as that. Steven is very much a team man and if he was on the bench because the team was in good form and playing well, I think everyone respects that.”
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