Steven Gerrard is the greatest Liverpool player of all time and one of the greatest midfielders to ever play the beautiful game.
Gerrard was a one club man which is very rare in this big-money generation of the Premier League. He joins the likes of Javier Zanetti and Ryan Giggs and his retirement of international football was taken to try and prolong his club career with Liverpool. Having made his debut in 1998, he was made captain just five years later and has won 2 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 1 Champions League and 1 UEFA Cup. His domination from central midfield has always overshadowed his fellow partner in midfield.
As ‘Stevie G’ prepares for his Anfield swansong, who are the 5 best Steven Gerrard midfield partners at Liverpool?
1. Xabi Alonso
Many will argue whether Alonso enjoyed his best years at Liverpool or Real Madrid where he spent 5 years at both clubs. Alonso’s game complimented Gerrard’s perfectly as Gerrard was energetic and a box to box midfield player which Alonso acknowledged and retained a more restricted position in midfield. Xabi was easily the most talented technically that Gerrard played with during his career at Liverpool. Unfortunately their first year together was halted due to injuries sustained by both players but they featured together towards the latter stages of the season, including the 2005 Champions League final where both players scored to mark the memorable victory over AC Milan.
2. Jordan Henderson
Gerrard’s current central midfield partner has come on leaps and bounds and that is largely down to Gerrard’s influence. As Steven’s game has become more tuned to his capabilities, Henderson has now taken the responsibility of getting up and down the pitch, a job which Steven used to do regularly. But as Gerrard is now starting to reach the end of his career, Henderson is the perfect fit. Having also partnered one another at the 2014 World Cup, Henderson will be hoping to learn all he can off the influential skipper to succeed his position and even the captaincy role that will be vacated.
3. Dietmar Hamann
The German midfielder was a big part of Liverpool’s success in the 7 years he was at the club. Despite not being a particularly match winning midfielder, Hamann possessed extreme composure in midfield and was excellent at regaining possession and breaking up the play. He helped nurture Gerrard in his younger playing days and helped mature him as a player. Gerrard appreciated how the defensive minded Hamann allowed him to strut his stuff in the opposition half and has admitted that he did all his defensive work and tackling for him!
4. Javier Mascherano
The Argentine holding midfielder was only at the club for 3 years and transferred to Barcelona in 2010 but Javier again was a midfielder that didn’t mind holding back and allowing Gerrard to burst forward. The trio of Alonso, Mascherano and Gerrard was hailed at the time as one of the best midfields in the Premier League and finished second in the 2008/2009 season. Mascherano was also an extremely intelligent player and once he broke up play it was often a 5 yard ball to Gerrard who we knew would be able to cause more damage with the ball at his feet.
5. Lucas Leiva
The Brazilian midfielder was signed way back in 2007 and is still a key player for the club. He originally began as a box to box midfielder but over the years his positional awareness saw him adopted as a more defensive midfielder operating in front of the defence. His first few years at the club were difficult as he was behind Alonso and Mascherano in the pecking order to partner Gerrard. He was crowned Liverpool player of the season in 2011 which was also the year where Gerrard missed large chunks of the season due to a groin injury. Lucas is another of Gerrard’s central midfield partners who gave him license to go forward.
So do you agree with our list of Stevie G’s midfield partners in crime?
Who have we missed? Too bad Emile Heskey didn’t play in midfield or he would be in there. Let us know what you think in the comments section below for your chance to win a $50 Premier Sports Memorabilia gift voucher.