Rangers news: Redknapp thought Gerrard would be pundit – but now sees him taking charge of Liverpoolby Robert Grieve
JAMIE REDKNAPP reckons Steven Gerrard looks comfortable on his seat in the Rangers dug-out.
He’s just surprised his mate isn’t sitting beside him in a pundit’s chair.
Redknapp took Rangers boss Gerrard under his wing at Liverpool.
He recognised his talent the very second he clapped eyes on him as a teenager.
They became team-mates and big pals — and Redknapp is convinced that Gerrard is destined to be Jurgen Klopp’s replacement at Anfield.
It’s changed days from when he felt sure the Reds legend would quit football and take the EASY option, by becoming a TV star just like him.
Redknapp said: “I wasn’t sure if Stevie would go into management. It’s a bit like Frank Lampard.
“They’ve both had great careers, won everything, and I could see them just doing punditry, take the easy option.
“But they haven’t, they’ve gone in at the sharp end.
“Stevie is in Scotland and doing well. It’s not easy because Celtic are so strong. But Stevie has got it, you can see that.
"I think a few years at Rangers, and as long as he doesn’t make too many mistakes, it’s only a question of time before he manages Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp decides to go.”
Redknapp has been close with Gerrard since the first day he started training with the Liverpool first team.
He added: “I remember at training one day, Gerard Houllier brought over two players.
"One was Stephen Wright — who went on to have a good career, played for Sunderland — and the other was Stevie, who would have been 16 or 17 at that time.
“Gerard said Wright was the one. Both of them joined in. Stephen Wright played right-back.
“Stevie played in the same midfield as me and I think we were up against Paul Ince and Patrick Berger.
“I’ve got the ball, passed to Stevie, hoping he would give me it back and I could ping it out to the left winger.
“But he took the ball in and on the half-turn he just hit this pass, straight through the air and into someone’s feet.
“And I thought, ‘Wow, this kid can play’.
“Just two minutes later he has smashed into Paul Ince, and then he is driving past people.
“Gerard Houllier came up to me at the end and asked what I thought of the right-back.
“I said, ‘Right-back? What about the kid in midfield? He’s unbelievable.
"'He’s different class, the best I’ve seen in years. He is a winner.’
“I said, ‘If you can’t see that, then you don’t know football.’
“You know what else set Stevie apart? His pace. He was lightning quick. It was unbelievable.
"He was not far off Michael Owen’s pace. When the pair of them used to race, he wasn’t far off.
“That’s what set him apart, for me. It wasn’t just his bravery or his shooting power.
"He never really got the credit for just how quick he was.”
Gerrard also has a quick-thinking wit which made Redknapp smile. He added: “I liked Stevie as a kid, he had a bit about him.
“He used to clean my boots. I remember one day, near Christmas, I said to him I would get some stuff for him and his brother.
“I asked him what size of boot he was and he said, ‘Seven, eight, nine or ten!’ I loved that. He was great fun.
“Listen, he has a serious side, and he is a serious football man.
“But he also has a great sense of humour. We had some great times.
“I only tried to help because he was a good lad.
"If he was someone who just had talent but had absolutely no chance then I wouldn’t waste my time.
“He was a good lad and always wanted to learn.
“Gary McAllister was also a massive influence on him at Liverpool.
"Glaswegians and Scousers are similar in terms of they want to win so badly."
Give now to The Scottish Sun's NHS appeal
BRITAIN’s four million NHS staff are on the frontline in the battle against coronavirus.
But while they are helping save lives, who is there to help them?
The Scottish Sun and Esports Scotland have decided to join forces to help out by launching our National Home Superleague.
We are running a FIFA 20 tournament involving some of the top names in Scottish football and entertainment to help raise cash for NHS Charities Together.
And we would like YOU to help us - by watching and enjoying the action which starts on Saturday May 16 and runs until Sunday May 31 and donating to a brilliant cause.
We know money is tight with so many jobs on the line, but we know so many of you want to show your appreciation for the wonderful people who work for the NHS.
No matter how little you can spare, please donate here Virgin Money Giving page.
You can also follow all the action across the weekend here Twitch TV
Speaking in Kris Boyd and Robert Snodgrass’ podcast, the Lockdown Tactics, Redknapp also talked about John Barnes and how surprised he was that his ex-Liverpool team-mate didn’t become a successful boss with Celtic.
He added: “From day one at Liverpool, John Barnes made me really welcome and told me if I never needed anything to let him know.
“He was everything you’d want from a senior player. He really looked after me.
“I tried to become that person when I got older, help the likes of Steve Gerrard.
“John was an amazing footballer, also a great man, and never got the credit he deserved.
“I was surprised it never worked out better for John when he went to manage Celtic.
"I suppose it was a tough time for the club, but with Kenny Dalglish also there with him, I thought it would go better.
“My dad tried to get John once or twice to become his assistant, once when he was at Portsmouth, I think.
“But I don’t think John wanted to make the move from his home.”
The Lockdown Tactics is hosted by former Scotland stars Robert Snodgrass and Kris Boyd.
Its chosen charity partner is The Kris Boyd Charity.
To watch the full interview go to YouTube and the various Lockdown Tactics social media platforms from noon on Tuesday.
Keep up to date with ALL the latest news and transfers at the Scottish Sun football page