The leadership opening ready to be filled at Liverpool this summer

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Liverpool have had a four-man leadership group since 2018, with Jurgen Klopp and the players collectively appointing the roles – but an opening has now emerged.

That is due to the departure of Gini Wijnaldum, with the Dutchman having bid farewell to Anfield in favour of Parc de Princes.

Wijnaldum was voted Liverpool’s four-choice captain behind Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Virgil van Dijk by his peers from the 2018/19 season onwards.

“The team decided number three for Virgil and number four for Gini,” Klopp explained at the time.

But he had to wait nearly three years to don the armband from the start and it came in the defeat to Burnley earlier this year. He would go on to wear it a further 10 times with Henderson, Milner and Van Dijk all absent from the field of play.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 20, 2021: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson hands the captain's armband to Georginio Wijnaldum (R) as he walks off injured during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 238th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. Everton won 2-0, the club’s first win at Anfield since 1999. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s not for certain that Liverpool will appoint a new fourth-choice now that Wijnaldum has departed, but there are a handful of options should they do so.

Both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino led the team out on one occasion in 2020/21, the former during the draw at Midtjylland and the latter in the final day win over Crystal Palace.

As long-time servants of the club, they each undoubtedly have the respect and admiration of their teammates and for Alexander-Arnold it would take him one step closer to realising his dream of being Liverpool’s full-time captain.

There is also Andy Robertson, who has led Scotland with distinction since 2018 and has blossomed into an ever-reliable figure both on and off the field for club and country.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 16, 2021: Liverpool's Andy Robertson (R) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (L) during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion FC and Liverpool FC at The Hawthorns. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mohamed Salah has spoken of his desire to don the armband for the Reds and is certainly one that leads by example through his actions on the pitch – which has recently seen him elevated to the role for Egypt.

Sadio Mane, Fabinho, Alisson and Thiago could then all lay claim and that you could make an argument for nearly all of Klopp’s regular first-team members speaks volumes of the team he has created at Anfield and the type of person he recuits.

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