Dalglish lauds Gerrard's 'huge contribution'
The England midfielder, who will be 32 in May, signed an extension to his existing deal yesterday but has already said he is looking to go beyond his current contract.
Dalglish admits fitness will play a big part, with Gerrard's last year having been dogged by a groin problem which required surgery and then an ankle infection, but sees no reason why the talismanic skipper cannot emulate Manchester United's Ryan Giggs.
"You have to wait and see how they get through injuries," said the Scot. "Giggs is 38, isn't he? That's seven years down the line, that's a long time to predict, but if he's fit there's no reason why not. I've not got a crystal ball. I'm just delighted he's done what he's done and we have got him here."
Dalglish has always been considered Liverpool's greatest player but the Reds manager believes Gerrard must now come into the reckoning. "I wouldn't disagree he has certainly made a huge contribution to the club but he wouldn't be far away from being mentioned as the best player," he added.
"It is not just what he does in and around the first team it is what he stands for the football club as well, which is more important. His standing within the community is fantastic and the way he does other work happily is a great testimony to himself as well."
Plans to play on
Gerrard has admitted he was offered a new contract last year but refused to sign it until he had returned to playing and could prove his fitness problems were behind him. "I was down in the dumps at the time and for them to offer me the contract extension was the boost I needed," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"Everyone at the club supported me so well. I agreed the extension a long time ago, I was always going to sign it, but I told them I wanted to wait until I had proved my fitness. I didn't think it was right to sign when I was out injured. I wanted to wait until I was back out there and had shown people that the injuries were all behind me."
Gerrard confirmed he would see out his career at Anfield, after which time he will take up an ambassadorial role. "I can only see myself playing for Liverpool Football Club now," he added.
"I'm very flattered that the club have offered me the chance to stay on after my playing days. Hopefully I can stay involved with the club and set the right example for youngsters coming through but that ambassadorial role may have to wait for a while. There's still a great deal I want to achieve as a player."