Liverpool’s leadership group is undergoing its biggest shake-up in years as Jurgen Klopp searches for new figureheads within his playing staff.
The Reds have lifted every conceivable club trophy under the stewardship of the two leaders but the next phase of this team may have to take place without them.
The heir apparent for the armband is Virgil van Dijk, who has regularly stepped in in the absence of the manager’s main two and looks set to step up to the plate after what has been a turbulent break among the playing hierarchy.
Van Dijk is also captain of the Dutch national side, standing him in good stead in terms of both experience and leadership credentials.
The No.4’s new understudy is likely to pose a bigger question, with a number of other international captains and members of Klopp’s leadership group remaining in the squad.
Here, we take a look at some of the leading candidates to be Liverpool’s new vice-captain.
Andy Robertson joined the Reds in the summer of 2017 for what has transpired to be a bargain £8 million fee.
The 29-year-old has become an integral part of the squad on and off the pitch and is also the current captain of Scotland and part of the Reds’ leadership group, putting him firmly in the conversation for the recently vacated vice-captain slot.
After six glorious seasons on Merseyside, a promotion to vice-skipper could represent the next logical step up in the left-back’s career, but a question mark still remains over his ability to thrive as part of a back three in Klopp’s new system.
Trent Alexander-Arnold finds himself one year older than Gerrard was when he was handed the armband by Gerard Houllier in 2003.
A local boy and a player who will no doubt have the full captaincy in his sights in years to come, Trent could provide Klopp with the perfect solution as a stepping stone should Van Dijk get the nod.
The 24-year-old is just one of a number of players in the manager’s leadership group, but looks set to explode on the pitch after giving fans a taste of what he is capable of in the hybrid role last season.
The Egyptian King will surely have his eye on a greater level of responsibility next season should the opportunity present itself.
In terms of leading by example on the field, nobody has shouldered the burden more than Salah since he arrived at the club in the summer of 2017, netting an obscene 186 times in 305 appearances.
Another international captain, Salah led Egypt to the final of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations and there is zero doubting his ability to drag a team over the line in the manner Gerrard did all those years ago.
The notion of goalkeeping captains can divide opinion among supporters, but Alisson certainly isn’t shy in dishing out instructions to his peers.
The Brazilian led out the side for the 2-0 victory over Porto in November following a player vote to decide which players should sit beneath Henderson and Milner in the pecking order.
It is perhaps the most left-field option of the choices available, but it is Alisson‘s position rather than any lack of leadership quality that will likely be the only stumbling block.
It is an unprecedented situation in Liverpool’s modern history, with the captain’s armband set to change hands for only the third time in the last two decades.
? With Van Dijk set to be new #LFC captain, who should be Liverpool's new ????-????????
— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) July 21, 2023
The manager has plenty to think about and will be keen to clear the situation up as quickly as possible in order to shift the focus onto the job at hand this season.
Let us know which of these choices, or any others, you believe should take the vice-captaincy next!