BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 5, 2021: Aston Villa's manager Steven Gerrard (R) and assistant head coach Michael Beale during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Leicester City FC at Villa Park. Aston Villa won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Former Liverpool coach takes Rangers job – was Steven Gerrard’s No. 2

Michael Beale, the former Liverpool academy coach who served as Steven Gerrard’s assistant, has left QPR to take the manager’s job at Rangers.

Beale followed Gerrard from Rangers to Aston Villa as his No. 2, before embarking on his own managerial career by taking up the position at QPR in June.

After a strong start in west London, the 42-year-old received an approach from Premier League side Wolves, and seemed set for a swift exit to the Midlands.

However, Beale turned Wolves down at the last minute, and in an interview with QPR’s official channels he said: “Integrity and loyalty are big things for me, and if they are the values you live by you have to be strong.

“I have been all-in here and I have asked other people to be all-in so I can’t be the first person to run away from the ship.”

Just over a month after, though, Beale has now agreed to rejoin Rangers, this time as manager, heading back to Glasgow to replace the departed Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Van Bronckhorst was sacked earlier in November, having overseen the worst-ever record by any club in the Champions League, failing to pick up a single point from a group that included Liverpool.

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 2, 2016: Liverpool's manager Michael Beale during the Premier League International Cup match against FC Porto at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Beale returns to Rangers having seen his QPR side go without a win in five games, with four defeats and a draw coming after a 2-1 win over Wigan, two days on from his defiant interview.

A vocal presence on social media, Beale deactivated his Twitter account amid speculation over his move to Scotland, having attracted fierce criticism from QPR fans.

His decision is certainly a questionable one, but the lure of returning to Rangers was clearly too strong to pass up.

Beale remains one of the brightest young coaches in football, having cut his teeth in various roles in the Liverpool academy including as under-21s manager.

He had previously worked at Chelsea, and briefly served as assistant manager for Brazilian side Sao Paulo in between stints on Merseyside.