Brendan Rodgers has brought three of Liverpool's most popular former stars back to the club as youth coaches.

Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Rob Jones made 977 Liverpool appearances between them and have all signed contracts to return to Anfield in what is undoubtedly a hugely popular move for players and fans alike.

Their roles will be with the club's younger players, where they will be called on to assist the development of players in the under-21 and under-18 squads.

Northern Irishman Rodgers believes the moves are vital in inspiring the Reds' home-grown talent to make the break-through into the first team.

"Sometimes managers feel the need to distance themselves from players like that but I love what this institution is all about at Liverpool," he was quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

"Getting the likes of Robbie, Steve and Rob involved is all part of that.

"They offer wisdom, they have played at the top level and they also understand what playing for Liverpool Football Club is all about."

Fowler had the most significant impact in a red shirt, scoring 183 goals in two spells for the club and achieving such hero status that the fans nicknamed him simply 'God'.

The former striker recently returned to Anfield to play a part in Steven Gerrard's testimonial, where Rodgers indicated an interest in drafting him in as part of the coaching set-up.

McManaman dazzled on Merseyside before switching to Spanish giants Real Madrid, where he scored in their Champions League final win of 2000.

Meanwhile, Jones made 243 appearances for the club but was tipped for greater things before injury cut short his playing career.

Few local players have risen through Liverpool's youth team to make an impact at the club since Fowler and McManaman, and one of them, Jamie Carragher, retired this year.

Rodgers is hopeful that by having a core of local staff at the club he can breed more of these players during his tenure with the club.

He said: "We lost a true great in Jamie Carragher this summer and you need people around who love the club dearly.

"If you look throughout the club now, we have lots of staff from this area.

"We have Mike Marsh on the staff with the first team - a local boy who came through and played for the first team.

"Frank McParland, our academy director, knows the area inside-out and guys like that are very important to understanding the culture of Liverpool," he added.


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