Former Liverpool legend and Aston Villa manager, Steven Gerrard, is reported to be in Saudi Arabia, sparking speculation that he is set to take up the helm at Middle Eastern football club, Al-Ettifaq.
On the Verge of a Middle Eastern Adventure
Steven Gerrard, 43, has been widely connected with a managerial role at Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League. This follows his departure from Aston Villa, where he was fired in October after an 11-month stay. The former Rangers manager was also believed to be a candidate for managerial positions at Leeds United and Leicester City, both of which were recently relegated from the Premier League.
Gerrard was photographed in a navy blue t-shirt upon arrival in Dammam, Saudi Arabia’s fourth-largest city, sparking a frenzy of social media activity. He previously worked on BT Sport’s coverage of Manchester City’s Champions League final victory over Inter Milan at Istanbul’s Ataturk Stadium.
Joining the Ranks of Football Icons in the Middle East
If Gerrard accepts the role at Al-Ettifaq, he will join a growing list of football icons who have relocated to Saudi Arabia. The club, which finished seventh in the Pro League this season, has a roster that includes Turkey’s Berat Ozdemir, Tunisia international Naim Sliti, former Flamengo forward Vitinho, and Swedish attacker Robin Quaison, but the addition of the former Liverpool player could mean a significant change in the squad. Other high-profile players in the league include Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, both currently playing for Al-Ittihad.
Gerrard’s return to management has been much anticipated since his departure from Aston Villa, where his tenure ended in disappointment. However, his successful spell with Rangers in the Scottish Premiership, when he prevented Celtic from winning a tenth consecutive title, shows the potential he brings to a team.
Reviving the Glory Days of Al-Ettifaq
Al-Ettifaq, a club with two Pro League victories under its belt, has not tasted such success since 1987. The addition of Gerrard, a former Champions League-winning midfielder, might be the spark the team needs to surge up the ranks once more.
The Pro League is set to start its new season in August, giving Gerrard ample time to familiarize himself with the squad and set his strategies in motion, should he take up the position.
With the stage potentially set for Gerrard’s Middle Eastern football adventure, the football world keenly awaits an official announcement.