Rio Ferdinand believes that Steven Gerrard's loyalty to Liverpool after rejecting an "obscene" offer from Chelsea backfired – and has blamed the Reds for offloading their former captain.
The now Aston Villa head coach, Gerrard spent most of his career at Anfield, representing the Reds for 26 years, initially joining his boyhood club at the age of nine. He joined LA Galaxy in 2015 before announcing his retirement one year later – though not many players can say they have remained loyal to just one club, with fewer and fewer cases in modern days.
The former Reds man had many appealing offers from clubs during his time at Liverpool, including Chelsea's attempts to lure him away from Anfield with a mega-money offer. And Ferdinand, who played for Manchester United for 12 seasons, believes Gerrard's act was not repaid in the same way by the Merseyside club who let their "local lad" go upon the expiration of his deal.
When asked about whether he believes players stay loyal to clubs, Ferdinand told FIVE: "Not really, no, I don't. There's an odd one recently, Mark Noble has been loyal to West Ham. There's one club players like Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes – this can go on and on but there are very few and far between, they're not like consistent.
"Let's look at the Steven Gerrard case, he's been loyal to them. He had obscene offers probably from Chelsea, they courted him, they tried every which way they could through players, and what not trying to get him and unsettle him.
"He became unsettled with the idea a bit but his loyalty probably made him stay at Liverpool. So whatever happened, he was courted by Chelsea but he decided to stay and then he gets towards the end of his career and the club don't want to give him a new deal when he's getting a bit older.
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"Bearing in mind, he was arguably the club's best ever player, been part of the iconic moments at the football club, would have so much to offer young players staying there from a culture, a mentality and somebody they can look at and identify as a local lad. But they chose to let him go to LA Galaxy.
"There was the ability for him to be there and stay there as a player coach almost, and groom him into being a coach in the system that they've got or a manager but they chose to do something totally different – they chose to allow him to leave and go to LA Galaxy.
"So when you talk about loyalty maybe if the club were being shown an element of loyalty there they might have gone, you know what, because of that loyalty he's showing us, we're going to give him a bit back at the end of his career."
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