When Steven Gerrard finally departed Anfield at the end of the 2014 2015 season, he not only left Liverpool FC to carry on without one of their leading goalscorers and top assists providers, but without their captain as well. Now, in the midst of a summer that has seen a substantial amount of press for the Liverpool soccer squad-between new transfer arrivals and the bitter departure of Raheem Sterling-manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Jordan Henderson will be leading the Reds in 2015 2016 and beyond.
Officially, the next man in line for the Liverpool FC captaincy is Jordan Henderson. A 25-year-old midfielder with 186 Liverpool appearances and 20 goals to his name (overall), Henderson has been a popular player with Reds fans since arriving at Anfield in 2011. When he dons the Liverpool football shirt for the start of the 2015 - 2016 Premier League football campaign in the fall, he'll also don the captain's armband.
A Steady Improvement
Henderson also improved slightly every year, going from just two goals and one assist during the 2011 2012 Premier League, to six goals and nine assists in 2014 2015. If he continues to grow in the coming years, then he could certainly follow in Gerrard's footsteps as a soccer player who never seems to lose ground with age. (Gerrard led the Reds in goals last season, scoring nine in league and 13 overall.)
Rodgers himself highlighted Henderson's steady improvement following the captaincy announcement.
"I think over my time here, Jordan has improved a lot," Rodgers said. "He's very honest and still has great improvements to make."
Rodgers also mentioned his belief that Henderson has learned quite a lot from Steven Gerrard in recent years, that he has always been a "wonderful role model and a great ambassador" for Liverpool, and that "he will respond to being given the captaincy in a positive way."
Henderson will certainly have his hands full as he takes the wheel of the Reds this coming season. The football club is coming off a rough season where they dropped from second place on the Premier League to sixth, and where they scored roughly half the goals they did in 2013 2014.
Liverpool are also losing promising young forward Raheem Sterling, who will head to Manchester City with a £49 million transfer deal after some of the least professional behavior the Premier League has seen in years. For months, Sterling has been vocal about his desire to win trophies-and his belief that he can't do that at Liverpool. Sterling even told Brendan Rodgers that he wanted to be left out of Liverpool's upcoming summer tour-despite the fact that the Reds had rejected two bids from Manchester City for the 20-year-old footballer.
Losing Sterling and Gerrard in the same summer is quite a blow for Liverpool, and will cost the soccer club a good deal of their offensive heft. The losses are worsened by the fact that the Reds had to part with Luis Suarez last season, and now we've reached a point where the current Liverpool FC squad looks almost nothing like the one that almost won a Premier League title in 2013 2014. Still, £49 million is a good price tag for a player whose heart clearly wasn't at Anfield anymore, and the money will hopefully allow Rodgers to work out some major signings in what's left of the transfer season. (Aston Villa's Christian Benteke is reportedly the top target.)
Light on the Horizon
Still, despite the challenges ahead, Henderson seems like the kind of positive, forward-thinking leader who can navigate Liverpool through it all. He and Rodgers will have a lot of fresh football talent to work with as they try to present a new face for the Reds-including James Milner, Danny Ings, Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Gomez, Adam Bogdan, and Roberto Firmino.
In fact, Liverpool fans have a lot to be excited about, between the club's first new captain since 2003 and plenty of new blood. Could these various changes help to bring about a fresh perspective at Anfield? Only time will tell, but you can root for the football club today by picking up a Liverpool shirt 2015 2016 at Soccer Box!.