The 32-year-old, who has 18 months remaining
on his current deal, has been hampered by niggling injuries over the
past few seasons – ankle and groin specifically – which have seen him
struggle to feature in more than half of his team’s games over the past
However, Gerrard has featured in every
Premier League game under Rodgers so far this season, and the new boss
is keen to tie his skipper down on a long-term deal.
"Steven is vital to us and I recognise that." Rodgers is quoted as saying by TheGuardian.
"I know he has 18 months left on his contract but I would want him to
go beyond that for this club and this team. What I would say with Steven
is he has a real hunger to succeed. He may be 32 years of age, but he's
still got so much left. He applies himself right, he eats well, he
recovers well, he works well, he does everything right.
is a guy who has led his life right as a football player and that allows
you to play well into your 30s. I would want him to stay beyond his
current contract and extend it. There is absolutely no question about
that. He has played every minute of every league game for us which shows
what an incredible figure for us he is."
come after Liverpool’s 4-0 demolition of Fulham on Saturday, in which
Gerrard nabbed a goal and an assist in arguably his most impressive
performance this season.
The England midfielder has faced criticism from certain quarters
following the Reds’ poor form, but Rodgers disagrees with the critics.
"You look at his stats this season and he is right up there as one of
the most influential midfielders in the Premier League," Rodgers
continued. "He's at the top in chances created, passing, possession; all
the important things. I find it incredible he can have had any
criticism at all. It is absolutely ridiculous. From seeing him every day
working, and seeing him playing in the games, it's incredible.
"OK, he may not be getting the goals he did five or six years ago but
that doesn't stop you influencing the game, and his influence for me –
and especially once he was starting to understand what I'm looking for –
has been absolutely top class. He has been an inspirational captain for
us, he has been a huge figure in the development of this team. We are
improving, we are growing, and he has influenced that."