Houllier backs departing Liverpool captain Gerrard for management

Gerard Houllier believes Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will one day succeed in management, BBC Sport has reported.

Gerrard is to leave the Reds at the end of the season, moving to MLS side LA Galaxy, and will make his final appearance at Anfield this weekend when Liverpool host Crystal Palace. Gerrard has to date made more than 700 appearances for the Merseyside club, scoring almost 200 goals, and has never worn the shirt of another club.

Houllier was Liverpool manager when Gerrard made his debut in 1998, as a late substitute for right-back Vegard Heggem against Blackburn Rovers, and led the team to success in the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup in 2001. Having worked with the young Gerrard and watched his development from afar, Houllier – who also managed the France national team, Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon and Aston Villa – believes Gerrard has what it takes to one day step into the dugout.

“He will make a great manager because he has always put the team first,” Houllier said, adding: “He has got everything it takes to think about the team, the club and the development of others.

“He is a natural born leader, a very inspirational leader,” Houllier added of the man he named skipper in 2003. “He is somebody you want to follow.”

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