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BREAKING NEWS: Gerrard returns to Liverpool as academy coach

Steven Gerrard has returned to Liverpool as a full-time academy coach.

Liverpool announced the appointment of their former captain on Friday after he retired last November following an 18-month spell with LA Galaxy.

The Reds revealed Gerrard would "serve as a coach at the youth complex in Kirkby, operating in a wide-ranging role in the professional development phase of young players".

The ex-England midfielder will begin his role in February, working closely with academy director Alex Inglethorpe.

Gerrard told the club's website: "It feels like completing the circle; returning to the place where professionally it all began.

"However, this isn't a decision based on emotion - it's about what I can offer and contribute to Liverpool.

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"I don't think I need to explain to people what this football club means to me, but when I knew coming back was a serious option I wanted to make sure it was a substantive role and a role in which I could really help the organisation.

"Meeting with Alex Inglethorpe, seeing the work they are currently doing and want to do in the future at Kirkby, it just felt right. The right option at the right time, for all parties involved.

"This gives me a great opportunity to learn and develop as a coach, while at the same time offering my knowledge, ideas and experience to the young players at an important period of their development."

Inglethorpe was thrilled to land Gerrard, revealing the 36-year-old had opted to return to Liverpool over many other offers.

He said: "If I was to pick one individual who embodies the characteristics and values we are looking to instil into our organisation at Kirkby, it would be Steven Gerrard.

"For him to have been so enthusiastic about being part of what we are looking to do is simply great news for everyone connected to the club.

"I don't think it would surprise anyone to know that Steven has had a host of great options, in terms of what to do next in his career, including playing, management and coaching.

"But it's been evident from the first meeting with him that his heart and head belongs here."