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John Aldridge: Steven Gerrard can help Liverpool land Jude Bellingham

Reds legend can play a role in getting £100million transfer over the line.

Jude Bellingham has been compared to Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard

Jordan Henderson and Jude Bellingham starred in England's latest World Cup win© Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham has Europe's top clubs chasing his signature© Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during the Champions League round of 16 match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Tuesday February 21, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.© PA

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Steven Gerrard during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 leg one match between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid at Anfield on February 21, 2023 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)© Getty Images

MARBELLA, SPAIN - JANUARY 08: Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund during the third day of the Marbella training camp on January 8, 2023 in Marbella, Spain. (Photo by Marco Donato/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images)© Borussia Dortmund via Getty Imag

AL KHOR, QATAR - DECEMBER 04: Jordan Henderson of England celebrates with teammate Jude Bellingham after scoring the team's first goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between England and Senegal at Al Bayt Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)© The FA via Getty Images

John AldridgeSunday World

LIVERPOOL'S reset moment has arrived - and Steven Gerrard can play a central role in what happens next.

I'm not suggesting for a second that Gerrard should take over from Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager, even if that is a scenario that could happen in the future.

What I am advocating is that Gerrard could be used as the salesman-in-chief in Liverpool's pursuit of England midfielder Jude Bellingham.

Reports in recent days suggest Liverpool have been given permission to try and finalise a deal for Bellingham and while he will not come cheap, this is what they need to do now.

I stated in my Sunday Wold column a few weeks ago that Liverpool's owners will come under pressure to make some statements this summer.

If the Americans in charge at Anfield don't give Klopp the money he needs to reboot a squad that is badly in need of a makeover, they are in danger of losing the support of the supporters.

After months of speculation, Bellingham is clearly at the top of the wanted list and while he might look at this team this season and offer a polite no, it seems there is more to this deal.

If the reports are accurate, Bellingham and his family are all Liverpool fans and Gerrard was the idol for this young midfielder when he was growing up.

So Liverpool would be wise to get Stevie in on this deal as his voice may be massive in persuading Bellingham to sign.

This 19-year-old will have his pick of clubs this summer, with Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City all rumoured to be in the mix.

They will all be ready to offer Bellingham more money than Liverpool, but it isn't always about cash.

Jordan Henderson and Jude Bellingham starred in England's at last year's World Cup© Getty Images

When you have a dream to play for a club and your idol is standing in front of you asking you to follow in his footsteps, it can have a big impact.

So Liverpool need to get Gerrard involved in the Bellingham talks, let him know that he is a Liverpool captain in the making and this great club can be his stage of the next decade.

Even if Champion League football is missing next season - and that is a big possibility now - Bellingham should look long term when he decides his next career move.

Does he want to go to one of the Manchester clubs if Madrid and just become one of many star names, or is he up for the challenge of being Liverpool's new midfield general.

I'm biased as a Liverpool fan through and through, but I hope he goes with his heart as well as his bank balance when he makes his decision.

There would be a risk in throwing more than £100million on the table to sign Bellingham, but Liverpool need to do deals like this now.

The Champions League dream for this season died with a defeat against Real Madrid on Wednesday night, but that tie was over before the second leg.

If the second leg was at Anfield, you would have given Liverpool an outside chance of turning around a 5-2 first leg deficit, but nothing is predictable with this team right now.

I'm at a loss to fathom how they have fallen so far in such a short space of time and the away record is a huge problem.

Since beating Aston Villa in the Premier League on St Stephen's Day, Liverpool have played nine away matches in all competitions.

They have failed to score in five of those matches and have lost six, crashing out of the FA Cup and Champions League in that horrible run.

It’s a tale of woe that you would associate with a side battling relegation and unless Klopp solves the away day blues, Liverpool can forget about a top four finish this season.

You witness the 7-0 win against Manchester United and it feels like Klopp's side are still a threat when they are being roared on by that Anfield choir.

Yet there is something seriously wrong with this team as they have been struggling for many months now and their problems don't appear to be evaporating.

You can put some of it down to injuries and there is no doubt that Liverpool are hit with more in that department than most of their rivals, which is an issue that needs to be addressed.

That is a debate for another day as the only focus over the next couple of months can be the final 12 Premier League matches.

A top four finish is there for the taking and I'd expect Liverpool to win a lot of their remaining homes games, including crucial clashes against Arsenal and Tottenham.

The trouble is, will they get enough points on the roar to sustain their top four push?

Klopp will doubtless join me in conceding he doesn't know the answer to that question as a team that have been so reliable for so long are no longer the force they once were.

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