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Liverpool wanted Steven Gerrard gone earlier, says Michael Owen

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 10: during the UEFA Champions League Round of Sixteen, Second Leg match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at Anfield on March 10, 2009 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Image: Steven Gerrard won nine trophies in 17 seasons at Liverpool

Liverpool wanted rid of Steven Gerrard two years before he left the club to join Los Angeles Galaxy in 2015, according to Michael Owen.

Boyhood Liverpool fan Gerrard graduated from the club's academy just after Owen, signing a professional deal at the club 11 months after Owen signed his.

Steven Gerrard has confirmed he is leaving LA Galaxy
Image: Gerrard spent 18 months at LA Galaxy before retiring at the age of 36

Owen departed for Real Madrid in 2004, with Gerrard resisting interest from Chelsea to remain at Anfield that summer.

Gerrard eventually left for LA Galaxy more than a decade later, but Owen believes the former Liverpool skipper was forced to depart for pastures new.

"In Steven's case, I severely doubt whether he really wanted to go and play in the States in 2015," Owen wrote in his new autobiography Reboot.

Michael Owen (centre left) scored twice to secure the 2001 FA Cup final against Arsenal
Image: Michael Owen played alongside Gerrard for six years at Liverpool

"I've heard that the club wanted him out two years prior to when he actually left.

"I'm sure he would rather have wound his career down at Liverpool, playing increasingly fewer games until he reached a point where he could be integrated into the coaching staff.

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"This only happened later in his case. But instead, because he'd become so symbolic and so powerful, I believe he was forced out in the short term. Steven was bigger than the club."

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