Steven Gerrard’s Fear of a Chelsea Transfer and Rebuilding Liverpool
Steven Gerrard, the legendary Liverpool midfielder, recently revealed his fear of being sold to Chelsea by then-manager Rafa Benitez. In the 2004-05 season, Chelsea made several attempts to lure Gerrard to Stamford Bridge, but he eventually extended his contract with Liverpool. Gerrard admitted that he regrets toying with the idea of a switch to Chelsea and was tempted by the offer.
In an interview with Gary Neville on Sky Sports Soccer Box, Gerrard opened up about the transfer saga. He said, “I regret the little bit of flirting back then and how that all blew up. The fact is I didn’t know whether I was coming or going with Rafa at the time. Rafa was having conversations with me like ‘I know your agent is talking to Real Madrid and Chelsea’.”
Gerrard also revealed his paranoid feeling that Benitez would have taken the transfer fee from Chelsea to rebuild Liverpool. He said, “I got a paranoid feeling at the time that Rafa would have taken money to try and build Liverpool on.” Chelsea had bid £37.5 million for Gerrard, which was a massive amount at the time but seems relatively small compared to today’s transfer fees.
Jose Mourinho, who was Chelsea’s manager at the time, played a significant role in tempting Gerrard. The lack of maturity on Gerrard’s part allowed him to consider the idea and flirt with it. However, he now has no regrets because Liverpool is the club he loves, and that’s the way it should be.
After the transfer saga, Gerrard went on to earn legendary status at Liverpool and never played for any other club in Europe. He only left the Reds to spend 18 months at LA Galaxy before retiring in 2016. During his time at Liverpool, Gerrard won the Champions League, UEFA Cup, two FA Cups, and three League Cups.
Meanwhile, Chelsea achieved great success, winning both European competitions and clinching the Premier League title five times. Despite this, Gerrard’s loyalty to Liverpool remains unwavering.
Following his playing career, Gerrard ventured into coaching. In 2017, he became the Under-17s coach at Liverpool. Then, in June 2018, he took charge of Scottish giants Rangers and led them to the 2020-21 Scottish Premiership title.
However, his managerial journey hit a bump when he moved to Aston Villa but was relieved of his duties in October 2022, less than a year after his appointment as Villans chief. Currently, Gerrard is the manager of Saudi Pro League team Al-Ettifaq, having signed a £4.8 million-a-year deal earlier this month.
In conclusion, Steven Gerrard’s fear of being sold to Chelsea by Rafa Benitez reveals the complexities of football transfers and the loyalty players have towards their clubs. Despite the tempting offer, Gerrard remained loyal to Liverpool and went on to achieve legendary status at the club. His coaching career has also seen ups and downs, but he continues to pursue his passion for the game.