Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers salutes Steven Gerrard

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said he would be open to Steven Gerrard returning to the club in a coaching role when he finishes his playing career

Brendan Rodgers has commended Steven Gerrard on his Liverpool career and says he will miss him "as a man".

Ahead of Gerrard's final game at Anfield after 17 years with his boyhood club, Rodgers assured him of a starting place against Crystal Palace on Saturday and hailed his captain for his service to the team, the club, and the city of Liverpool.

"I will miss Steven Gerrard as a man. I think both our interests are purely devoted to Liverpool Football Club," said the Liverpool manager.

"He will be missed because our relationship is strong, we communicate well and not having him here will leave a huge hole. He’s irreplaceable but we have got to keep moving forward as a club and as a team.

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Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard expects his final game at Anfield on Saturday to be an emotional affair

"I asked a lot of my staff to describe Steven in one word and I’d use the word 'Liverpool’. What Steven has given to this city, politicians haven’t given. He's a wonderful symbol for the people and he’s very much about looking after his people.

"Today is about commemorating the career of a wonderful player. He is one of the very few genuine world-class players who is around the game. He played 42 games in my first season, 39 last season and 38 so far this season - that shows his value and importance to me."

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Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard expects his final game at Anfield on Saturday to be an emotional affair

Gerrard held his own press conference on Thursday in which he heralded Rodgers and admitted he wished they had worked together long before the former Swansea boss moved to Merseyside in 2012.

Former England captain Gerrard, set to mark his 706th and penultimate appearance for the club, says he would like to return as a coach one day but Rodgers admits this has not yet been discussed.

"It’s not something we have spoken about. Our focus has been on finishing the season strong," he said.

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