Jordan Henderson admits it was a huge honour to be handed the captaincy of Liverpool FC and will look to lead the team in his own, unique way,
Henderson has been given the skipper's armband by Brendan Rodgers following Steven Gerrard's departure to MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy in June, ending a 26 year relationship with the Reds.
During his Anfield career, Gerrard became 'Mr Liverpool' due to his never-say-die attitude and commitment to the club and some have named him the Merseyside outfits best every player.
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Henderson has significant boots to fill at Anfield but is excited about the challenges ahead.
“When the manager told me, it was a huge honour,” the former Sunderland man told the Liverpool Echo.
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“It was a bit of a shock. But when I was given the vice-captaincy, he had told me to learn as much as I could from Stevie (Gerrard) and just to prepare myself, whether it was now or in the future. That is what I tried to do.
“I tend not to think about it too much. I just try to do the things that I have always done.
“I try not to change too much but I also know that I have got a lot of responsibility. It is a big role for the team and for the club as well.
“As long as I am playing well, doing my best for the team, that is all I can ask for."
Henderson was appointed vice-captain of the club in2013 when Daniel Agger returned to Danish side Brondby. During that stint, he looked to learn as much as he could from Gerrard in preparation for the moment he would eventually be appointed skipper.
“I don’t think there will ever be another Steven Gerrard in terms of talent and leadership,” he said.
“But it was good for me to play with him and learn from him. He’s a footballer who I had so much respect for and for a leadership aspect as well.
“I have taken as much as I could from him and I will try and use that. But going forward, I have got to do what I believe is right and what I want to do.
“I still speak to Stevie on a regular basis. He always tells me that if I need any advice, he is always on the end of a phone."
Change In Fortune
Henderson has come along way since he moved from Sunderland in 2011 for £20 million.
His first season was far from inspiring and Liverpool fans questioned the significant price-tag paid for the Wearside native and whether he would develop into a top-class player. Henderson lacked confidence during the 2011/12 campaign and looked phased by the hefty fee paid for him.
When Rodgers took the helm at Anfield in 2012, he was willing to let Henderson leave for Fulham for a fraction of what was paid for the midfielder. However, it was Henderson who snubbed the deal and vowed to improve and become a regular in the Liverpool starting line-up.
That has indeed been the case. The 25-year-old was a vital member of the Reds' squad when they went within a whisker of winning the Premier League in 2014 and started 37 games for Liverpool last term, scoring six goals and seven assists.
Now, Henderson is set to feature on this year's front cover of the UK version of FIFA 16 alongside Lionel Messi after winning an online vote.
“I just took it at the start as something light-hearted and the campaign was actually quite funny,” the centre-midfielder continued.
“It was quite enjoyable and I never thought anything of it but then it started to get a lot of support and I have ended up there on the front cover alongside him. It’s remarkable really, isn’t it?”
The vice-captaincy role is now free at Liverpool and there are a number of candidates who could get the nod.
Martin Skrtel appears to be the obvious choice. He's the Reds' current longest serving player having joined from Zenit St. Petersburg in 2008 and knows the club the most. Skrtel proved last season particularly that he can lead the Liverpool defence and could take the step up.
James Milner is also in contention despite just moving the Anfield on a free transfer from Manchester City. He is a veteran of the game and has plenty of experience having won two league titles at City.
Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure are also in the running for the vice-captaincy.
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