Steven Gerrard has earmarked Jordan Henderson as the ideal candidate to replace him as Liverpool captain.
Gerrard announced last week that he will be ending his 26-year association with Liverpool at the end of the season, with the former England skipper widely expected to join MLS club LA Galaxy.
The 34-year-old’s exit means manager Brendan Rodgers will have to select a new skipper and Gerrard feels Henderson – the club’s vice-captain – possesses the necessary traits to take ownership of the armband.
“I certainly believe Jordan has everything you need to be a great captain,” Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo.
“He’s a fantastic professional who tries to lead by example in every training session and in every game.
“He has really grown as a player and is improving all the time with experience.
“He can become a great captain for this club. He’s a fantastic player for me to hand the armband over to.
“I’ve got great respect for Jordan Henderson and I know everyone else at the club feels the same.”
Gerrard’s confidence in his team-mate is born from the fact that Henderson recovered from an initial difficult spell when he joined from Sunderland in 2011 to become one of the team’s most important players.
“Initially, it was very difficult for Jordan,” he added. “He was a Sunderland boy and moving to Liverpool was his first time out of the area. It was a big move at a young age.
“Playing for Liverpool, with all the pressure and expectation, is tough. It’s a very demanding club.
“Jordan stayed and toughed it out. It’s in difficult situations like that you learn a lot about the type of player and the type of character someone is.
“He knuckled down and worked even harder. He’s a true professional and a very strong character.
“Every day he’s in the gym doing extra work. He doesn’t drink and he looks after himself. He has made a lot of sacrifices to play well for this club.”
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