Rodgers on the lookout for more local talent

Brendan Rodgers is on the lookout for local talent following Steven Gerrard's announcement that he will leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

Gerrard's departure follows that of fellow hometown hero Jamie Carragher, who retired in 2013, and sees Liverpool's contingent of locally-sourced players dwindle further.

Rickie Lambert and Jon Flanagan are left to fly the flag for Merseyside at Anfield, while youngsters such as 17-year-old Jordan Rossiter, who made his senior debut against Middlesbrough in the League Cup earlier this season, attempt to force their way into the first team.

And Rodgers believes it is important to nurture local talent to replace the likes of Gerrard and Carragher.

"Not too many managers get to manage this kind of situation [Carragher and Gerrard leaving]," he said. "It's about finding the next one.

"That's what happens in football. You have to find the next one. There's a focus at finding the next one on our own doorstep.

"We want to find talent, of which I believe there is plenty, on Merseyside and in and around Liverpool.

"It's nigh on impossible to find a replacement for Steven of that stature and quality. He is unique in his play and behaviour.

"You can't find a direct replacement, but for us it will always be about the team. We're renowned for having top-class players."

On Gerrard's decision to end his 17-year Liverpool career, Rodgers added: "We had a chat a few days before the announcement, so I've been fully aware all the way along.

"Steven deserved the time to make his decision. The decision is purely for him and his family. He will always be an iconic figure here.

"He sees himself going on to play a couple more years. Naturally it would have been tapered a bit in the next few years [at Liverpool].

"He knew my feeling on wanting him to be here. He wasn't ready to move into coaching, he still sees himself very much as a player."

Gerrard has been heavily linked with a move to MLS in the United States, but Rodgers insisted he had not given a potential loan back to Anfield a moment's thought.

"He's still a player here now for this season," he stressed. "I'm not thinking beyond that."

Liverpool head to AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup third round on Monday.