x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Joy over Gerrard decision

Roy Hodgson, the Liverpool manager, has welcomed captain Steven Gerrard's decision to publicly commit himself to the club.

Steven Gerrard said he is delighted with the signing of Joe Cole.
Steven Gerrard said he is delighted with the signing of Joe Cole.

Roy Hodgson, the Liverpool manager, has welcomed captain Steven Gerrard's decision to publicly commit himself to the club. The 30-year-old midfielder, who has been linked with a summer move to Real Madrid, backed Hodgson's plans, welcomed the arrival of Joe Cole and said he was looking forward to playing alongside his England teammate.

And that has delighted Hodgson, who has met Gerrard only briefly since taking over from Rafael Benitez on July 1. "It's a great piece of news," he said. "There won't be anyone in Liverpool today who isn't delighted to hear that. "I'm really pleased about it because I've got great respect for Steven Gerrard. "He's a player who I was really looking forward to working with when I came to Liverpool. "It seems now with that commitment that this will happen. It gives everyone a boost without question."

Gerrard, who has been unhappy at suggestions he wanted to leave Anfield, said there was no doubt where he wanted to be next season. "I wanted the chance to meet Roy Hodgson privately and having done so, I'm very impressed with his plans for the future. "I know Joe well through the England set-up so it will be fantastic to play alongside him in a red shirt for Liverpool. It is a great signing for us."

* PA