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Steven Gerrard's future: Fight between his head and heart
''He, for me is Liverpool'' were the famous words of Thierry Henry, when asked about Steven Gerrard. It pretty much sums up Gerrard's successful and loyal association with Liverpool Football Club. No one would argue against it, as the Englishman has served Liverpool for the past 16 years and counting.

The word counting has been used very loosely above in today's context. The Liverpool star has been offered a new contract, but the reds captain has not put pen on paper, speculating fuel about the possibility of quiting reds at the end of the season.

Gerrard does not belong to that league of money minded players. His reasons for delay in signing or rejecting the contract is a constant battle, purely a mental one, not monetary.

Gerrard had received some attractive offers in the past from top teams. The player refused to quit Liverpool, inspite of coming very close to the exit door. 

Chelsea put up a huge offer for Stevie in 2005 and 2006, which the legend has openly admitted in a number of interviews that their offer turned his head. But, Gerrard, who spent his youth career in Liverpool since 1987, decided against it. Though, the player did think about joining the blues, as he was not enjoying a healthy relationship with the then manager, Rafa Benitez.

"Steven has told us he will not accept our offer of an improved and extended contract because he wants to leave," read a Liverpool club statement then (2005). Liverpool fans does not want to undergo the torture that they went in 2005, where he was hell bent on quitting. 

With rumours of a rift between the present manager, Brendan Rodgers and Gerrard surfacing for a few days now, things does not look great. To the delight of Kopites, both the personnel have rebuffed the rift issue, but, one may not be sure about the degree of the truth in it, but Gerrard is not a happy person when benched. He was benched by Brendan Rodgers in the important Champions League away tie against Real Madrid and last week against Stoke.

No one more than Steven Gerrard understands his game more than himself – he is not the player he used to be with those long range shooting skills, bombarding into the box, running box to box. Still, the player is a red and red through, his passion, determination and leadership to excel in a red shirt cannot be replaced.

Brendan Rodgers must be thinking, keep that passion, leadership and determination away, what does Gerrard provide to the team? Is he an asset? Can he give his cent per cent on a weekly basis?

Hence, Rodgers may wants to use the player, sparingly, to get the best out of him. But, Gerrard is not someone who would be eager to warm the bench and play as an 'impact' player. If Rodgers does not consider him worthy enough to start games, Gerrard may well think of clubs, which would be willing to give him a key place in the starting eleven.

With teams such as Inter Milan, Manchester City with Champions League status already knocking Gerrard's door, the reds skipper might have to consider his option away from Anfield, where he has enjoyed some of his best years.

Gerrard is one of the most respected player in world football and no one has ever doubted his loyalty to Liverpool. So, there is very less chance that the player, if he thinks of quitting Liverpool would represent an English club, irrespective of the money being thrown at him.

Big Italian, Spanish and German clubs would be keeping a close tab on the matter and might tempt him out of Anfield as well, if he does not sign the new contract. The player would be eligible for a pre-contract signature from January 1.

One doubts, if Gerrard would follow Carragher's footsteps and straightaway quit at the end of the season and remain a one team player. Not many players has done what Liverpool's Carragher has! With some reports claiming that the player might be offered a coaching role as well, but he might be too young to take up that role or to early to hang his boots.

He hung up his boots from international football to give more time to Liverpool, which establishes his hunger for the game. His hunger was on full display last night against Leicester City, the way he celebrated his goal. If one could read between those lines (goal celebration), did it mean, 'I am staying'.

Gerrard is past his prime and as like other players such as Thierry Henry, David Beckham, would he follow their route to the MLS? Sometimes, it is not only about football, but experiencing a different culture, tradition, lifestyle as well that attract him to the MLS. Even if it meant signing a two year contract, he could use that as a long vacation and help his wife and children enjoy a different experience of life as well before drawing curtains to his wonderful career.

Having said these things, it is Steven Gerrard, who needs to take the call. He should take time, relax, think and sign or reject the contract. It could be a battle between his head and heart, with the latter definitely saying Liverpool. But, he should not take too long a time to dwell into it. The longer it takes, the more difficult it is going to be for the legend.

His connection with the fans has been tremendous, but he should not be swayed by their emotions as well. In the past, his decision to quit Liverpool were not met positively by Liverpool fans, who treat him as their favourite son, in spite of their current criticism.

One expects the Liverpool faithfuls not to create a furore this time if he decides to quit the club, for he has given it all in Liverpool's red. Still, it is going to be a tough ask for Gerrard to quit Liverpool.

His love for the club stands tall, which he considers his second family.  Irrespective of the decision Gerrard takes, one thing is for sure, Gerrard will be remembered as a Liverpool legend.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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