Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has insisted that he would be extremely surprised if Jordan Henderson didn't replace Steven Gerrard as the club's new captain.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Carragher, who retired from the game at the end of the 2012/13 campaign, believes the midfielder is now a vital player for the club as he continues to go from strength-to-strength in the game.
With Gerrard in and out of the side, Henderson has captained the Merseyside outfit on a number of occasions throughout the course of the campaign.
And it now appears that he's set to be rewarded with a new long term deal Liverpool deal, with the same report from Sky Sports claiming that he's close to signing a new five-year contract with the club.
Carragher, then, clearly believes the former Sunderland man has a key role to play at Anfield over the coming years as he said: "I think he’s vitally important. He’s an England player and although he’s not a local player, the way he performs for Liverpool shows you the passion that he’s got.
“He’s a regular for England and without Steven Gerrard he’s taken on the role of the captaincy this season. The manager has said it isn’t set in stone that he will get it next season but I’d be very surprised if he wasn’t.
“His record as captain is very good and he’s a player who has grown into playing for Liverpool after a difficult start.”
For now, though, Henderson and Co. will no doubt be hoping to bounce back after their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Aston Villa by claiming a victory in the Premier League over West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
Liverpool are still in with an outside chance of securing Champions League football for next season, but will be well aware that they must win all of their remaining fixtures in England's elite division to stand any real chance of overtaking either of Manchester City or Manchester United.
Room for improvement
There's no doubt about it, Henderson's influence in the Liverpool side has been growing a great deal over the course of the last year or so.
If he continues to improve over under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers, then he will have a huge role to play at Anfield for many years to come.
Henderson, despite his early troubles on Merseyside, now appears to be the standout candidate to replace Gerrard as captain. It's surely likely that he will be handed the role.