Rafa Benitez believes Steven Gerrard’s ability to play a variety of positions during their time at Liverpool will aid his transition into coaching.
Gerrard is currently considering his options after leaving MLS franchise LA Galaxy, with the possibility of either continuing his career as a player or taking up a coaching role.
Inter Milan are hoping to sign the 36-year-old until the end of the season, while Liverpool are believed to have held talks with their former captain about joining Alex Inglethorpe’s academy setup.
Most interestingly, however, MK Dons have offered Gerrard their vacant managerial role, following the departure of former Reds youth coach Karl Robinson.
This could seem like a premature move by the League One outfit, but addressing Gerrard’s qualities as a potential manager, Benitez said he would likely suit the role.
“What I could see when I went to Liverpool, I could see a great player with a passion,” the Newcastle United boss recalled.
“I remember my first meeting [with him] was in Portugal with Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher and Stevie.
“They were with the national team and we were asking for permission to talk to them.
“We were talking about tactics and they were really keen. So he was someone that was really keen to learn.”
While Gerrard largely operated as a midfielder for the Reds and England, Benitez believes his ability to perform in a variety of roles will help him learn the nuances of management.
“Little by little, he was changing his position,” the Spaniard continued.
“I remember when everyone was talking about: ‘Oh, you have to play [Frank] Lampard and Gerrard as midfielders for the national team’.
“He was playing for us on the right and he was scoring more than 20 goals.
“Also sometimes he was playing for [Fabio] Capello on the left side, cutting in on his right foot from the wing.
“For us [Liverpool] his best position was as a second-striker behind [Fernando] Torres.
“When you have already played in three or four positions, your knowledge of the game is much better because you can see different points of view; the problems and the solutions.
“So I think he has a chance to be a good manager.”
Benitez also confirmed he was available to offer Gerrard advice as he mulls over his next move, saying “he has enough experience but I don’t have any problems.”
However, according to ESPN, Gerrard is likely to turn down MK Dons’ offer, and will let the club know his final decision on Monday.