Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp: We'll help Steven Gerrard be manager one day
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has backed Steven Gerrard to succeed him in the Anfield dugout one day.
Having ended his playing career last November, Gerrard, 37, returned to Liverpool in a coaching role at the club's Kirkby academy in February.
The former midfielder is set to take over the Reds' under-18 side next season, and Klopp told kicker that he is developing his own successor at Anfield.
He said: "It might sound a bit funny, but I would have never thought that Steven Gerrard might learn something from me one day."
Calling Gerrard "a fantastic lad beyond football" he said: "I asked him: 'What do you want to become?' And he said he wants to become a manager.
"That was wonderfully fitting, because he's got the perfect setup here with a group of people all up for helping him.
"We will do just that. He already has a lot of football knowledge as a former world-class player, but there are certain aspects you need to learn as a coach.
"You need to allow yourself the time, and Steven allows himself the time now."
While Gerrard will learn his trade in the Liverpool academy, Klopp said he would also continue to give first team opportunities to youngsters despite crashing out of the FA Cup with an experimental, youth-orientated formation earlier this year.
The manager was criticised for his selection but said: "That's a situation I have had to cope with during my entire coaching career.
"I need to make the decision before I know whether it works out. The folks can talk about it after they realised it did not work out.
"That's part of my life, and I will continue to hand chances to young players in the future."
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.