Mark Lawrenson has called on Brendan Rodgers to start searching for a long-term replacement for captain Steven Gerrard as the Liverpool manager considers his transfer options in the lead-up to January.

Gerrard has been an integral part of the Reds' first team for over 15 years and his status at the club has already reached legendary status while currently helping to take them back into the Champions League.

The 33 year old's performance against Arsenal was seen by many to be an out-of-character one for the midfielder with Gerrard unable to keep up with the rampent Premier League leaders.

And while former Liverpool man Lawrenson doesn't think that the skipper is finished just yet he believes that Rodgers needs to make plans for a long-term replacement.

"To be honest, I would also be looking now to the long-term and who could replace Steven Gerrard," he said in the Liverpool Daily Post. "Liverpool haven't got a like-for-like replacement in their squad and, given what Gerrard brings to the team, whoever they bring in is going to cost a lot of money. It is something they must therefore get right. They can't afford to make a mistake."

On Gerrard's performance against Arsenal Lawrenson was quick to insist that the England international isn't losing his magic touch, particularly after he recovered with a brilliant showing against Fulham as the Reds recovered from their loss with a 4-0 win.

"Gerrard responded to criticism against Arsenal the previous week with a man-of-the-match display in the romp over Fulham last weekend," he explained.

"I despair with how, in the Premier League these days, you are judged on a single 90 minutes every week. It's all immediate, knee jerk. People go completely overboard and don't look at the bigger picture.

"Believe me, it will be a very dark day when Gerrard is not in the Liverpool team regularly because he is not going to be easy to replace. He is still a hell of a player."