Back

Five impact replacements for Steven Gerrard at Liverpool

Liverpool, 3/1 with Coral to finish in the top four this term, have offered captain Steven Gerrard a new contract, according to manager Brendan Rodgers, though the question all Reds fans want to know is will he sign it?

No doubt, it would be a perfect Christmas present, if he commits this festive season. Should Gerrard decide to pursue a new challenge elsewhere, it would be the end of an era for a player that has won everything apart from the Premier League title with his boyhood club.

Just in case the unimaginable happens, and he does leave, Coral have made a case for five potential replacements who could come in and have the same kind of impact that Gerrard currently has in the side.

Ignacio Camacho
Malaga’s 24-year-old midfielder could well fulfil the role Xabi Alonso did at Anfield and he certainly has the talent. Camacho is well groomed to patrol in front of the back four, as Gerrard currently does and his strengths include tackling, aerial duels and anticipation of the game. He is also developing his range of passing, and was rumoured to be a target for Rodgers last January, for a fee in the region of £13m.

Granit Xhaka
One of Bundesliga’s rising stars, the Borussia Monchengladbach central midfielder has plenty of potential. At 22 years old, Xhaka is at the right age to push on, and former Switzerland manager Ottmar Hitzfeld once dubbed him the “young [Bastian] Schweinsteiger”. He is known for sitting deep and directing play, just like the Bayern Munich player and would fit in superbly at Liverpool.

Marco Verratti
PSG’s 22-year-old midfielder has been compared to Andrea Pirlo, sitting in front of the back four, and excels through his ability to read the pattern of play, plus his remarkable range and accuracy of passing. Signing him would be a coup for the Reds.

Bruno Zuculini
Currently on loan at Valencia from Manchester City, the 21-year-old Argentine has built a reputation as a tough tackling midfielder in a similar vein to compatriot and former Reds player Javier Mascherano. With the amount of personnel in the City side, if the player is offered a new challenge and opportunity of first-team football by Rodgers, he has the potential to do very well.

Emre Can
Signed from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, the 20-year-old German central midfielder of Turkish descent has shown signs that he is capable of eventually stepping up. Having been compared to Michael Ballack, he is yet to show this kind of potential, though could definitely become a leading light for the Reds.