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Kevin Keegan backs Steven Gerrard to return as Liverpool manager

Former Liverpool favourite Kevin Keegan believes departing captain Steven Gerrard will return to manage the club when his playing days are over.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 16, 2015: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard arrives at Anfield ahead of his final home game for the Reds before the Premier League game against Crystal Palace at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The 34-year-old midfielder is preparing for his 710th and final appearance for the Reds at Stoke on Sunday before he moves to Major League Soccer with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

He was given an emotional Anfield send-off last weekend but Keegan is adamant Gerrard will extend his 27-year association with the club at a later date.

"It's not ended at Liverpool the way he would have liked," said Keegan, who unlike Gerrard chose to leave Liverpool to test himself abroad with Hamburg while still at the height of his powers.

"I'm sure he would have liked to have won something or finished better but he's going to America now, which is another big challenge for him.

"I think one day he will come back and manage the club.

"He will get offered the manager's job. His time at Liverpool is not finished."

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 14, 2012: Former Liverpool players Kevin Keegan and John Barnes, working for ESPN, before the FA Cup Semi-Final match between Liverpool and Everton at Wembley. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Having managed Gerrard at international level, Keegan is well-placed to assess the contribution he has made to English football.

He is disappointed the midfielder did not achieve his ambition of winning the league title, and while Gerrard has managed to keep his emotions in check as his time has wound down, Keegan believes the enormity of what is about to happen will not sink in for some time.

"You never realise what you have until it's gone and that's in life, not just in football," he said.

"You don't realise how good times are sometimes. Like school for example, when you leave school you think 'I'm glad to leave school' and then about five years later you think 'Wow they were the best years of my life and I didn't realise it'.

"It's the same with Steven Gerrard. Liverpool fans and most football fans worldwide see him as an absolute legend of a player who has sadly not won as much as he should have done. He should have won more for his ability.

"The unfortunate thing is that as Liverpool got better Steven was coming to the end of his career, so sometimes it's just timing. Call it luck if you want.

"I gave him his England debut as a kid and it was obvious he would play a lot of times for England.

"It was obvious he would be captain of England, it was obvious he would become player of the year and footballer of the year and stuff like that because he had everything.

"More importantly he's a good guy. He had leadership qualities. The last year has been a struggle for him."

:: Kevin Keegan represented the League Manager's Association (LMA) at the Prostate Cancer UK golf day at Wentworth recently. The LMA are proud partners of Prostate Cancer UK, and people are being urged to search Men United and do something great with their mates via

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