Xabi Alonso has backed Steven Gerrard to become Liverpool manager one day, suggesting his former teammate had all the attributes required for the job.
Following his retirement at the end of the 2015-16 season, the former Liverpool captain began coaching at the club's academy earlier this year and has so far taken charge of the Under-18s and Under-19s in the UEFA Youth League.
Alonso, who played with Gerrard between 2004 and 2009, believes the 37-year-old has only taken his first steps in the managerial world and could one day manage the side he played for during 17 seasons.
"I'm following the early steps of his career closely and for sure he has all the attributes to become a big manager and a Liverpool manager one day," he told the club's official website.
"To have someone with his knowledge [will help Liverpool's youngsters]. You can be a great player but being a manager is a different task. For sure, he's really focused and if he's able to deliver that message he will be a good one."
Speaking at an event that saw Gerrard receive the 2017 Legend of Football Award in London, the recently retired Spaniard recalled the former skipper played a major role in help him settle at Anfield following his move from Real Sociedad.
"I remember my first days in Liverpool," Alonso added. "He was a true leader by example, not just in words, and you had to watch and learn from him and keep him close, as close as I could because I knew he was going to be a good influence for me.
"We started building a relationship on the pitch [and] off the pitch. Really he represents so well what the Liverpool pride means, the way he behaves, and since then we became really good friends."
Alonso and Gerrard both scored in the 2005 Champions League final, as Liverpool came from 3-0 down against AC Milan in Istanbul to secure their fifth European Cup crown. The Reds clinched the FA Cup the following season but have won just one trophy in the eight seasons since Alonso left Merseyside to move to Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, Gerrard believes upcoming matches against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur will provide Liverpool with an opportunity to bounce back after a disappointing run since the end of the summer transfer window.
Jurgen Klopp's side have managed only one win in seven matches across all competitions since the first international break of the season and were knocked out of the Carabao Cup following their 2-0 defeat to Leicester City in the third round.
However, Gerrard was adamant his former side can bounce back when they take on United and Tottenham after the international break.
"I cannot wait for those two games because watching Liverpool since Jurgen has come in - they are the games where Liverpool seem to prove everyone wrong and put in top-class performances," Gerrard told Sky Sports News. "I think their record against the top sides is the best so if I was a Liverpool player or the Liverpool manager, those games can't come quick enough.