Rodgers: Gerrard best around

  • By: Pete O'Rourke
  • Last Updated: April 19 2014, 12:11 BST

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has hailed Steven Gerrard as the best holding midfielder around and insists he would not swap him for anyone.

Rodgers: Hailed Gerrard as best holding midfielder around
Rodgers: Hailed Gerrard as best holding midfielder around

Rodgers changed Gerrard's role in the side in January to a more defensive post in front of the back four and, after initial teething problems, the Liverpool and England captain has adapted superbly to his new position.

Gerrard has been the driving force behind Liverpool's bid for Premier League title glory and Rodgers believes the 33-year-old deserves more praise for his performances and influence on the side.

"I think his form sometimes gets lost a wee bit with Steven because his leadership quality in the team is there for all to see," said Rodgers. "We mustn't forget that he's arguably the best in European football in a controlling role at this moment in time.

"There's not many players who can do what he can do - be one of the best attacking midfield players in Europe and then switch to be arguably the best controlling player.

"You look at the holding players in European football now at the top teams, I wouldn't swap him for any of them, because of what he can give the team."

"He's a playmaker but he's unique in that he can also defend. I think what he probably doesn't get enough credit for as well is his reading of the game.

"For as long as I knew Steven Gerrard before I came in here, people would ask 'Was he a player that just couldn't fit in a team structure?'

"He was the number 10 who needed to roam because he was so good, he needed to do that. He could lift the team and carry the team from whatever position he played.

"But the feature now is about the team and he's in a structure he's happy with.

"He's got some top talents around him that can exploit his qualities and along with his intelligence and reading of the game, his physical condition in the role is very good as well. I could see him playing in there because of those playmaking skills. He can orchestrate the game."