Steven Gerrard underwent two transfers that “changed” him, according to former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez.
Rafael Benitez, a former Liverpool manager, has identified the two players that had the most impact on Steven Gerrard during his tenure with the team.
From 2004 until 2010, Benitez was in charge at Anfield, where he won the FA Cup and the Champions League.
In those five years, Gerrard served as Benitez’s captain and talisman, and he may have also been at his finest on the field.
As Liverpool ended in second place, he was named the Football Writers Player of the Year in 2009.
Benitez feels that Gerrard was unlocked by two additions made later in his administration, which allowed him to excel in his position at Liverpool.
The obvious choice is Fernando Torres. When the Spaniard first entered Melwood in 2007, Gerrard immediately connected with him, and the two went on to become one of the Premier League’s most feared teams.
A youthful Javier Mascherano was first brought in on loan by the Reds from West Ham United; the loan would later turn into a permanent one.
According to Benitez, this transfer gave Gerrard the opportunity to play a more forward position in the team, close to Torres, where he was so successful.
“If we look back to my time at Liverpool,” he said in an interview with The Coaches’ Voice, “some people remember the names of significant names from the beginning to the conclusion at Liverpool.”
One of the important choices we made was to position Gerrard behind Torres when we signed him so that we could also add Mascherano, Lucas Leiva, and Alonso.
“The harmony, Gerrard’s licence to attack and inside the box, and Torres’ dashes. Depending on the year, we had wingers and Kuyt, who worked very hard.”
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However, Torres up front, who could slip in between defenders, gave Gerrard opportunity to move about behind the striker.
“Then two midfielders who could hold the ball like Mascherano or pass like Alonso,”
“They offer you balance,” said Lucas Leiva, who was recruited when he was 19 and spent 10 years at Liverpool.
The two players then left in 2010 and 2011, with Torres moving to Chelsea six months after Mascherano joined Barcelona.
The demise of the Reds as a whole served to highlight their significance because their departure came before a forgettable era in Liverpool’s history.