Sunday 26 March 2017

Dalglish boosted by Gerrard return

Kenny Dalglish welcomes back Steven Gerrard on Wednesday insisting the club captain fully deserves a place among Liverpool's legends.

Gerrard is set to face Fulham at Anfield after serving a three-match suspension following his sending-off in the FA Cup defeat by Manchester United.

That tie was Dalglish's first game in charge after he was installed as caretaker-manager until the end of the season following the departure of Roy Hodgson.

And he is delighted to be teaming up with Gerrard again - a player he believes would have spanned the generations with his ability in midfield.

Dalglish said: "He is a special person - he's not just a special footballer.

"The way he has served this club and what the club means to him - it is nothing short of fantastic. He's served this club unbelievably well and we will certainly ride along on the back of that.

"I don't have words in my vocabulary to be complimentary enough about Steven other than to say this club is much better off with him than it could be without him.

"Certainly he's more influential wearing a red shirt more than any colour. He deserves to be up there in the folklore and the history of the club. He is a fantastic footballer that we're very lucky to have at our disposal."

Gerrard has made 551 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 140 goals after making his debut in November 1998.

He has become an increasingly influential figure in the side and steered Liverpool to a remarkable European Cup victory against AC Milan in 2005 after they were 3-0 down at half-time.

Gerrard's return could not have come at a better time with Liverpool in buoyant mood on the back of only their second away win in the league this season.

The 3-0 victory against Wolves was Dalglish's first win in charge after his side had lost to Blackpool and drew with Everton.

Dalglish said: "Having your captain available after missing three games gives everybody a great lift.

"We had a great result and performance at Molineux and we've got a very difficult game coming up.

"So for us to have Steven available again on the back of the performance and result at the weekend is a great boost for us."

Meanwhile, striker Ryan Babel is staying at Anfield for the time being, Dalglish has confirmed.

Babel looked as though he was heading for Bundesliga side Hoffenheim after the clubs agreed a fee.

However the proposed move has broken down with Babel earlier indicating he would prefer to join Ajax.

There is speculation the Dutch side's £20m striker Luis Suarez could be heading for Liverpool.

Whether Babel might be part of the deal remains to be seen. When asked about the player's situation, Dalglish said: "He is staying here."

Dalglish also refused to be drawn on whether Liverpool will increase their offer for midfielder Charlie Adam.

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston said their Barclays Premier League rivals had made a £4m bid on Friday which had been rejected.

There are reports Liverpool will push the figure up to £5m for the Scotland international.

Dalglish said: "If we have some business to discuss we will discuss it.

"We will try to adopt the way of Liverpool Football Club and certainly one of our ways is to be respectful of other clubs and certain players at other clubs.

"The most important people we have are the people at this club."

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