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'I'll now watch Aston Villa a bit closer!' - Klopp reacts to Liverpool legend Gerrard's Premier League return

02:31 EAT 19/11/2021
STEVEN GERRARD JÜRGEN KLOPP LIVERPOOL
The Reds head coach says he is really looking forward to coming up against the Englishman on the touchline

Jurgen Klopp has reacted to Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard's return to the Premier League by declaring that he will now "watch Aston Villa games a bit closer".

Gerrard opted to leave Rangers after three-and-a-half years at the helm to take up the top job at Aston Villa last week.

The 41-year-old, who guided the Gers to their first league title in a decade, has a tough job on his hands at Villa Park as they sit 16th in the Premier League after 11 games, but Klopp believes he is a "great" fit for the role.

What's been said?

Klopp was appointed Liverpool manager shortly after Gerrard's departure as a player in 2015, but the former midfielder worked with the German closely when he began earning his coaching stripes with the club's academy the following year.

The two men still keep in touch to this day, and Klopp is relishing the prospect of their reunion on the touchline when the Reds host Villa on December 11.

He has told Liverpool's official website of Gerrard's arrival in the West Midlands: “Really happy for him, to be honest.

"I know he loved the job at Rangers, but it’s how it is. When you have the opportunity to work in the Premier League, then probably each coach in the world would consider it.

“With a club the size of Aston Villa, I can imagine he is really buzzing about it. It’s a great opportunity for him, it’s great for the club.

“In a few weeks we will face each other. I texted him obviously and we had a few messages back and forth. It’s good, I’m really looking forward to it.

“From now on I will watch Aston Villa games a bit closer, but apart from that when we meet them obviously then it’s different. But it’s good. That’s for him the same, it must be the same. For these 95 minutes all sentiments have to be put aside, that’s how it is.

“But, anyhow, it’s great news.”

Does Gerrard have an eye on Klopp's job?

It has been suggested that Gerrard is using the Villa job as a stepping stone on his way back to Liverpool, having long been touted as the man to eventually replace Klopp when his contract at Anfield expires.

The ex-England international completely dismissed that notion in his first press conference at Villa Park, however, as he told reporters: "Very unfair. You’ll never hear me say it’s a stepping stone. I’m really honoured and proud to be in this position, I’m all in and I’ll give this job everything it needs to be a success.

"I don’t think there’s anything wrong in football with having dreams and aspirations. But Liverpool have a world-class coach that they’re very happy with and if he was to sign a lifetime deal I would be very happy for them and him.”

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