Michael Owen: Jordan Henderson the right man to captain Liverpool
Michael Owen backs Jordan Henderson to succeed Steven Gerrard as Liverpool captain
Michael Owen believes that Jordan Henderson is an appropriate replacement for Steven Gerrard as Liverpool captain – but admits it may be difficult for the 24-year-old to emulate the departing Anfield hero.
Gerrard, who has been with Liverpool for 25 years, announced he will leave the Reds at the end of the season to join MLS side LA Galaxy.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers named Jordan Henderson as vice-captain earlier this season, with the former Sunderland midfielder amassing more than 140 appearances for the club.
I think he is a decent replacement as captain, but I wouldn’t want to compare him with Gerrard
Henderson captained Liverpool over the weekend in their 2-0 away win against Premier League strugglers Aston Villa, while Gerrard was sidelined.
Owen wrote on Sportlobster.com: “I think Jordan Henderson will captain Liverpool, judging on what Rodgers has been saying about him.
“Obviously, you need a player who will feature regularly and Jordan looks like a permanent fixture in the team.
“However, I am reluctant to compare Henderson to Gerrard, as I don’t believe he is blessed with the talent of Stevie and I’m not sure he will be able to develop it.
“He’s a quality player and talkative on the pitch. He plays every game and when you look around the pitch for candidates, there aren’t too many obvious choices.
“I think he is a decent replacement as captain, but I wouldn’t want to compare him with Gerrard because there aren’t too many players in the same league as Gerrard in terms of quality.”
Owen hopes Gerrard will stay fit towards the end of the season, as he anticipates his former teammate to receive a send off similar to Sir Alex Ferguson’s in 2013.
He added: “Gerrard’s final game at Anfield will have a similar atmosphere to Sir Alex Ferguson’s at Old Trafford. Hopefully, he will stay fit, healthy and involved for it.
“It will be an unbelievable atmosphere and the fans will give Gerrard the perfect send off.
“It will be very emotional for Gerrard, as he hasn’t known anything else apart from playing for Liverpool.
“It will feel strange, wearing a different kit for a different club. Every game, which is now played at Anfield, I am sure the fans will appreciate Gerrard even more.”
Gerrard will follow in the footsteps of the now-retired David Beckham and Robbie Keane by joining LA Galaxy, who won their fifth MLS Cup in December.
The 2005 Champions League winner revealed he would have signed a new contract with Liverpool in the summer, had the club made the offer.
Owen, who came up through the Liverpool ranks with Gerrard, believes both club and player are disappointed with the failure to reach an agreement.
He added: “It is probably a nice move [to LA Galaxy], because he won’t be upsetting anyone.
“He would’ve liked to stay on with Liverpool, but circumstances conspired against this.
“It is disappointing for everybody that something couldn’t have been reached sooner to keep him at the club.”