Steven Gerrard has revealed that he believes the drift towards favouring young players over their older counterparts risks missing out on the vital experience some players can offer, including at his own club, Liverpool, the
Gerrard, 32, does not accept the view that young players offer the best value for money, pointing to the signing of Gary McAllister at Liverpool and the prospect of Frank Lampard leaving Chelsea for nothing at the end of the season.
The Liverpool captain also looked to the Reds’ Sunday opponents, Manchester United, for evidence that teams need old heads, putting forward the examples of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, who remain part of the set-up at Old Trafford despite both players being closer to 40 than 30.
Under Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool have given prominence to the likes of Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom, all in the early years of their careers, but Gerrard wants to ensure the promising youngsters at the club do not miss out on the kind of learning experience he had when McAllister moved to Anfield.
Gerrard said: “I can understand the policy that everyone wants young, bright, British players, but I don’t agree that it should 100 per cent be the only way. I think you’ve got to add experience to young gifted players as well in this league and at this level. I learnt bucket loads from Gary McAllister.”
McAllister moved to Liverpool in 2000, when he was 35, signing on a free transfer from Coventry City. He played two seasons under Gerard Houllier, making 87 appearances and scoring nine goals, winning the FA Cup, the League Cup, the Charity Shield, the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup in his brief time on Merseyside.
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