Liverpool decision Steven Gerrard later regretted as announcement sent shockwaves through football

January 2, 2022 marks exactly seven years since a club legend announced they would be leaving Liverpool.

On this day in 2015, Steven Gerrard confirmed that he would be departing the club at the end of the 2014/15 season to link up with Major League Soccer outfit LA Galaxy.

The announcement sent shockwaves across the world of football, with Gerrard calling time on a 17-year stint as a professional footballer at Anfield.

Gerrard made his Liverpool debut as an 18-year-old in 1998, and went on to make 710 appearances for his boyhood club to rank behind just Jamie Carragher (737) and Ian Callaghan (837) in the Reds’ all-time appearance rankings.

The 41-year-old, who is now a manager and in charge of Liverpool’s Premier League rivals Aston Villa, said at the time of the announcement that he would have stayed for one more season had a contract been offered.

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“Yes, if a contract had been put in front of me in pre-season I would have signed it,” Gerrard told the ECHO in January 2015 soon after the announcement.

“I’d just retired from England to concentrate all my efforts on Liverpool. 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.

“There’s no blame and I’m not angry about it. There are other people in the squad and the club had other things to worry about.”

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Gerrard would go on to outline his ambitions of hopefully returning to Liverpool one day in the future.

He would manage Liverpool’s Under-18s in the 2017/18 campaign in what was his first managerial role, before he would go on to spend more than three seasons with Glasgow Rangers.

“Liverpool Football Club have been unbelievable for me since I was eight years old. This club has helped me fulfil my dreams over and over again,” said Gerrard in 2015.

“The memories and experiences I’ve had over the past 26 years I wouldn’t swap for anything in the world.

“I’m a very lucky boy and I am also proud of what I’ve given back – the sacrifices, the dedication and the loyalty.

“I enjoy a very strong relationship with Liverpool Football Club and I don’t see that coming to an end. I hope to serve the club again one day.”

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Years later, however, Gerrard would admit that he has regrets about the way he left Liverpool.

The former midfielder said in 2020 that he wishes he had played under Jurgen Klopp in the latter stages of his playing career.

Gerrard left Anfield in the summer of 2015, while Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers that October, and the ex-Reds captain says he wishes he had experienced playing under the German.

Speaking to Jamie Carragher on The Greatest Game podcast in January 2020, Gerrard said: “That’s a decision I regret because I might have got the back end of Klopp and maybe got the back end of playing 20 games under the Klopp era.

“From a football point of view, [I wish I’d stayed] one million per cent.”

He added: “All of a sudden, I was getting offered a contract on the amount of appearances and starts and Premier League goals I was going to score.

“At that age I just felt that wasn’t right. So, I think that part is the bit that annoys me on the handling of it.”

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