Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes Steven Gerrard holds the key to the Reds quest to return to the Champions League next season.

The Reds skipper spent a large portion of the campaign on the sidelines through injury last term, missing the final months of the season when a resurgent Reds narrowly missed out on a Europa League place.

However, Redknapp believes a fully fit Gerrard can help take Liverpool one step further, and return to the biggest club competition in Europe.

"I hope he is back to full fitness next year - he is Superman," the SkySports pundit told the official Liverpool website.

"Hopefully he can come back to full fitness - that's the key. He's had surgery - I spoke to him and he said he feels great and really strong. I think it's really exciting times. With Kenny back there, and Luis Suarez - I love watching him play.

"It's exciting times for Liverpool and I hope we can get back certainly into Champions League football. With Kenny, I believe that can happen."

Redknapp, son of Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, was also quick to praise manager Kenny Dalglish, who helped turn the club's fortunes around following his arrival in January.

The former Southampton midfielder has much to thank the Scottish boss for from his own career, and believes he can take Liverpool close to another title next term.

"It was different class to see Kenny back. He signed me as a 17-year-old. All the fans have responded to it. When I've been to Anfield the atmosphere has been so good because he's there, he has that magnetism. People love him and love watching his teams play.

"Next year will be the most open league title in years. You look at it and with one or two new players - and Kenny will have identified those - I don't think Liverpool will be far away, and I'd love to see that."

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