BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 5, 2021: Aston Villa's manager Steven Gerrard (R) speaks with Matty Cash after 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)

Steven Gerrard poaches from Liverpool again for another staff member

Following Steven Gerrard‘s move to manage in Saudi Arabia, the former Reds captain will be taking a key member of Liverpool’s staff with him.

The club legend was confirmed as the new Al-Ettifaq boss earlier this week, having initially turned down a previous approach.

Gerrard was sacked by Aston Villa in October, less than 12 months into his tenure, and will be returning to the managerial hot seat for the first time since leaving Villa Park.

Alongside him will be Liverpool’s academy analyst Ray Shearwood, who has left his role at Kirkby to join Gerrard in the Middle East.

The Athletic‘s James Pearce reported on Wednesday evening that Shearwood accepted an approach to join the Liverpool legend as part of his backroom staff at Al-Ettifaq.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 9, 2022: Aston Villa's manager Steven Gerrard (C) with assistant head coach Gary McAllister (L) and technical coach Tom Culshaw (R) on the bench during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Villa Park. Tottenham won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Shearwood has worked with the academy for almost 10 years and joined up with the under-21s in November 2020.

This is far from the first time Gerrard has opted to bring a Liverpool staff member with him to a new venture, in fact, it is at least the seventh occasion across his spells as manager at Rangers, Villa and now Al-Ettifaq.

Gary McAllister and Michael Beale both left their roles at Liverpool to join Gerrard as part of his coaching staff at Rangers in 2018 and later Aston Villa when he took over from Dean Smith in 2021.

Tom Culshaw, Jordan Milsom and Scott Mason also made the journey from Ibrox to Villa Park, having each worked in various capacities for Liverpool in the past.

Former under-23s boss Neil Critchley quit his post at Blackpool to join Gerrard at Aston Villa but lasted just 12 games before taking the managerial position at QPR, only to later be reunited at Blackpool earlier this year.

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 13, 2017: Liverpool Under 18's manager Steven Gerrard shares a joke with Under 23 manager Neil Critchley during the UEFA Youth League Group E match between Liverpool and Sevilla at Prenton Park. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Gerrard performed something of a U-turn in accepting a proposal to join the evergrowing Saudi Pro League, having originally suggested during Channel 4’s coverage of England’s 7-0 win over North Macedonia that he wouldn’t be taking up the opportunity.

He was once tipped as the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Anfield when the German eventually moves on, but his disappointing stint at Villa Park and subsequent decision to join what is still widely regarded as a retirement league appear to have scuppered that prospect somewhat.

Roberto Firmino has also followed Gerrard to the Middle East after his move to Al-Ahli was confirmed earlier this week.

The likes of Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Neves, Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy have also all followed in the footsteps of Christiano Ronaldo by joining Saudi sides this summer.