Fernando Torres expects Steven Gerrard to transfer his ability on the pitch into the dugout as Liverpool U18s prepare to kick off the season under his leadership.

It was confirmed in April that the Reds legend would begin his new role as U18s manager for the 2017-18 season, and his first competitive fixture in charge takes place on Friday with a 1pm kick-off away against Derby County.

Having enjoyed a hugely successful partnership together on the pitch over three-and-a-half seasons at Liverpool, Torres believes his ex-teammate has all the qualities required to succeed in his new coaching position.

“Of course I see a great manager in him,” the Atletico Madrid striker told Liverpoolfc.com after the meeting with his old club in the Audi Cup final last week.

“From the times I’ve talked with him, I think he’s very happy and very excited. I think that’s the most important thing.

“He’s feeling happy back at his home and I’m sure he’s going to develop as a top manager, as he was as a player. Everyone in Liverpool loves him and everybody around the world loves Stevie. Hopefully he can be a great manager.”

When asked whether he has spoken to Gerrard since he took the new job, Torres revealed the pair keep in touch and he has wished the Reds icon good luck as he begins the next chapter of his career.

“Just to wish him all the best,” said the Spaniard.

“He’s very happy and very excited. I’ve been talking with the guys on the staff now and they told me the same. I know for him it’s a great chance to become Liverpool manager one day and he has a great manager in Jürgen Klopp to have a look at.”

After making the move back to Atletico from AC Milan in 2015, Torres knows all about the feeling of returning to his own boyhood club and feels Gerrard’s prior knowledge from his playing days will stand him in good stead as he takes the first step into management.

“I think it’s important for him to start with the U18s at a club he knows,” he continued.

“He knows about the club, about the fans, about what the people like to see at Anfield, so he has everything.”

Free clip: Torres gives his backing to Gerrard

The signs so far have been encouraging, with impressive 7-0 and 6-2 victories in friendly games against Burton Albion and Rapid Vienna in July, before a recent 4-2 defeat by Leicester City as Gerrard prepares his side for the start of the new season.

For Torres, it feels like a natural progression for the 37-year-old to build on the legacy of his illustrious playing career.

El Niño added: “I think it’s what everybody wished for him, you know.

“He’s the greatest player, for me, in Liverpool history. It’s like he has to be manager. He has to help Liverpool from the bench one day and he’s on his way.”