A quick glance around at the managers of leading football clubs shows that many appointments are driven by sentimentality.

Some coaches are appointed on the basis of their legendary status at the club in question and their connection with the fan base, which is said to lead to greater unity. The best examples right now are Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard at Manchester United and Chelsea respectively.

In Spain, the three biggest clubs - Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid - are all managed by former players who had a distinguished spell at their clubs. Italian champions Juventus appointed former midfielder Andrea Pirlo over the summer too.

At Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp has a strong and special connection with the club’s fan base but he had no prior link to the Reds or English football before his appointment in 2015.

His popularity is based on his managerial success at Anfield, as well as the extent to which he has brought into what Liverpool means as a club.

Klopp has already been at Liverpool for five years and while he still has four further seasons left on his contract, it is not totally unreasonable for the club to begin to think about his successor - only four managers in the Football League have been in their posts longer than the German and he will not be around forever.

The name that crops up most frequently when discussing who might replace the former Borussia Dortmund supremo is, unsurprisingly, Steven Gerrard. The Reds' inspirational former captain began his coaching career at Liverpool, before being appointed as manager of Scottish giants Rangers in 2018.

His connection to Liverpool remains so strong that he was invited to the club’s Premier League title celebrations earlier this year, although he turned the offer down.

"I was at home watching it on TV... I was invited to go and be around the players, be with them, but I thought the right thing to do was be at home with my family, and let the players celebrate and enjoy themselves,” Gerrard said, as per the ECHO.

"The scenes were absolutely fantastic. There was no happier house in Formby than my house let me tell you.”

Gerrard is now into his third season in Scotland. Celtic’s domestic dominance has continued in that time, with the club having won nine successive league titles and every Scottish trophy available since Gerrard’s appointment across the city at Ibrox.

However, there are signs that the tide in Glasgow is turning.

Rangers have won the last two Old Firm derbies - the most recent of which was on October 17 where Celtic failed to register a shot on target against their visitors, who appeared to be a much slicker team with every player knowing their role.

While the Gers are yet to win a trophy under Gerrard, they are ever narrowing the gap at the top and currently hold a six point lead over Neil Lennon's men having yet to lose an SPL game this season.

They have also enjoyed fantastic nights in Europe. Last season saw them qualify for the last 16 of the Europa League after winning home and away to Portuguese side Braga. To put that achievement into context, Celtic have not won a European knockout tie after the group stage of any competition since 2004.

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Rangers are undefeated across 16 matches in all competitions this season and have won 14, including four European victories. They impressively progressed past Galatasaray in the Europa League qualifiers before another eye-catching two-goal win at Standard Liege this week.

Gerrard has helped transform them into a team who are more than comfortable on the European stage, getting his tactics spot on and fashioning a resilient side with a cutting edge in the final third.

Gerrard’s formation switches between a 4-3-3 and 4-5-1, depending on the opposition and difficulty of the encounter. It is notable that these are the formations deployed by Jurgen Klopp and Rafael Benitez respectively. It was under the former that Gerrard began his coaching career in earnest and under the latter that he enjoyed his greatest success as a player, winning the Champions League and FA Cup.

The formation employs a central, goalscoring striker - usually Alfredo Morelos or Kemar Roofe - with winger Ryan Kent adding pace, trickery and directness from the wing, with either Ianis Hagi or Jordan Jones on the other flank.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp looks at the trophy

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In most domestic matches that trio plays in front of a midfield three, but on the European stage Gerrard switches to a quartet in front of two defensive midfield pivots. This is reminiscent of Benitez, who astutely employed more cautious tactics in continental competition.

The building blocks have been put in place for the blue half of Glasgow to taste success after being starved of it for several years, but there is still work to be done. While the club have often got it right on the big occasion recently, they have been less ruthless against sides lower down in the standings compared to neighbours Celtic.

Liverpool fans will inevitably be gutted when Klopp finally decides to call it a day at the club, but there is unlikely to be a more universally popular replacement for the German than Gerrard.