Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is confident Steven Gerrard will manage the club one day.
The pair are set to meet in the Premier League on Saturday as his Aston Villa side make the trip to Anfield.
Gerrard left Liverpool in 2015, just months before Klopp arrived on Merseyside, after making 504 appearances for the club in which he scored 120 times.
Gerrard has said there are no sentimental feelings for him ahead of the game, however, Klopp is not so sure this is the case.
"I know he said already, ‘No sentiments’ and all these kind of things and Stevie is meanwhile already an experienced coach, manager.
"He is doing the job already for a while and he knows exactly how to approach games, but he has probably no idea how it will feel when he steps into the stadium or out of the dugout or whatever.
"I had that in a similar way; I cannot really compare it but when I came for the first time back to Mainz or I came first and last time back with Liverpool to Dortmund. It’s strange, it’s strange.
"You like or love pretty much all the people you meet when you arrive in the stadium and that’s pretty much not often the case when you go somewhere – it’s easy to be very competitive usually. But I could handle it, Stevie will handle it.
"I think Stevie is friends with 99.9 per cent of the people working for Liverpool FC and the 0.1 per cent never met him because they arrived after him.
"I never heard a negative word about Steven Gerrard since I am here. I met him, he’s a great guy and he will come here and want to win the football game. Before, nice handshake, after nice handshake, and in between they will go full throttle and he will go full throttle."
Gerrard has picked up nine points in his first four games as Aston Villa manager.
His players look a different outfit entirely since he took over from Dean Smith.
They also appear to really buy into him and what he is trying to achieve at the club, which isn't surprising considering he's such a Premier League legend.
This was most visible in the moments after their recent 2-1 win over Leicester City at Villa Park, which sent them into the top half of the table.
Klopp has been impressed with him so far and with how he has the side set up but does not want to see Gerrard leaving Anfield with anything.
"High intensity, what they are doing. What kind of system is it? It’s 4-3-3 or Christmas tree maybe – we are around Christmas, let’s call it a Christmas tree.
"4-3-2-1 is midfield, very lively, really aggressive, a very specific way to attack with really high full-backs, specific kind of protecting with the midfielders, 10s in between the line and a proper striker, whoever it is – Watkins or Ingsy.
"Last line obviously looks again really settled or confident again, let me say it like this. A good goalie. I think it is really similar, the style of play is similar to Rangers. It made him very successful there and now he is already successful there [at Villa].
"I think they have four games played, nine points – I heard about worse records. I think it’s a proper start, but none of these four games were against us and that’s what we want to bring in."
Klopp, who says he sent Gerrard a message after the Leicester win saying 'Not bad at all! See ya!’ thinks Gerrard will manage the club one day.
With Klopp expected to depart Liverpool in 2024, many feel Gerrard may be using the Villa job as a dress rehearsal or an audition for the main role which he wants.
Klopp says this will probably happen, but timing is important.
"Oh, yeah. Yes, I think, absolutely I think. The only problem is when is the right moment for that?
"That’s not only about Stevie but we saw that with Frank [Lampard], for example, at Chelsea – a similar story.
"I think that Stevie is doing really well in the moment because he is very young still from a manager’s point of view, so it’s just when is the right moment to take the job.
"Not that he is not able to do it, but how long you want to do it. So, is this the last job you do, is it the second job you do, the third job you do, whatever.
"That’s questions I cannot answer, but yes I think it will definitely happen and good for everybody."
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