Brendan Rodgers expects Jordan Henderson to flourish as Liverpool captain next season, as the 25-year-old begins his role as Steven Gerrard’s successor.
Henderson was named the Reds’ new skipper earlier this month, having been the favourite for the role as soon as Gerrard announced his Anfield exit in January.
The England international has made remarkable strides since almost leaving Liverpool in the summer of 2012, and Rodgers believes he will become an even better player as captain.
“You can imagine it was in my mind last season when I was aware, in particular, that Stevie was going to be moving on,” he told LFCTV.
“I wanted to look at someone who would be a great ambassador on and off the field because it’s not just about captaining Liverpool, you have a huge responsibility for the players and the supporters on a worldwide basis.
“So it was going to take somebody who is going to be strong-willed and has a strong mentality, but is also a wonderful role model.
“Obviously Jordan was one of the players that I thought about, but once I saw him grow and develop as the vice-captain then I felt pretty sure that this would be the season he could be the captain.
“He has taken to the role very well. He’s had a perfect role model in Stevie, he’s been on the shoulder of Stevie for a year to see how it all works and he’ll have picked up a lot from him.
“Like I said to him when I told him he would eventually be the captain – ‘have your own ideas, have your own ways of doing it and do it your way’.
“He’s an outstanding player and I think you’ll see him really blossom with that captaincy.”
Rodgers also had a brief word to say on the vice-captaincy, with the role still up for grabs following Henderson’s promotion this summer.
“I haven’t announced anything yet or spoken to the players on it yet, but I’ve got an idea who I’d want that to be,” he added.
The general consensus is that James Milner is the hot favourite to become Henderson’s deputy, although Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho and Lucas Leiva have all been tipped as well.