Jurgen Klopp has to do what he’s never done as Liverpool’s captaincy clue is made

Jurgen Klopp has to do what he’s never done as Liverpool’s captaincy clue is made

This summer, Jurgen Klopp will be required to do something he has never done before in his managerial tenure.

In February 2001, the German was given his first managerial position at his former club Mainz Mainz 05.

In the summer of 2008, he took over as Borussia Dortmund’s manager and spent the next seven seasons at Westfalenstadion, where he had previously served as a player.

Since his appointment as Liverpool manager in October 2015, Klopp has amassed the longest tenure of his career at Anfield, having won every significant honor since joining the Reds.

However, despite his 22-and-a-half-year managerial tenure and counting, the German has only ever had three permanent club captains.

Dimo Wache was the longtime captain of Mainz when Klopp was hired in 2001, while he designated Sebastian Kehl as the leader of Borussia Dortmund upon his arrival. Jordan Henderson was appointed captain of Liverpool in the summer of 2015, three months prior to the German’s arrival at Anfield.

The England international’s controversial £12 million transfer to Saudi Arabian club Al-Ettifaq earlier this week has left Klopp and the Reds in search of a new commander.

“It’s sad, very strange, because he’s the only captain I’ve ever had at Liverpool,” Klopp admitted as he bid the midfielder an emotional farewell.

“The longest-serving captain for me,” he added in a social media video tribute. “I’ve always had seasoned captains. Kehl, seven years; Wache, seven years and three months; you, seven years and eight or nine months; therefore, you have also won this race!”

Also in need of a new vice-captain following James Milner’s departure to Brighton & Hove Albion at the conclusion of his contract with Liverpool this summer, Jurgen Klopp has yet to announce who will assume armband duties from the veteran midfielders.

However, Virgil van Dijk is expected to be named the new captain of the Reds, having previously served as the team’s third-choice captain and leading Liverpool in their preseason friendlies so far this summer.

Andy Robertson, who was the fourth-choice captain last summer, is in line to be the new vice-captain if Klopp promotes from within the club’s well-known leadership group.

Yet, could Klopp’s admission that he has “long-serving captains” suggest at a potential replacement for Henderson? In fact, Van Dijk is now 32 years old, his contract expires in 2025, and the Reds are seeking a new long-term replacement for the Dutchman.

If Klopp prefers a new long-term captain, Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has long been touted as a potential future Liverpool captain and is a member of the Reds’ leadership group, may be in line for a promotion. Now 24 years old, his prime years are still firmly ahead of him.

The England international is one of his team’s most valuable players, and his new inverted full-back position makes him utterly indispensable to their style of play.

Obviously, there is nothing wrong with designating Van Dijk as captain, even if it is only for a couple of seasons, as Liverpool possesses a number of leaders regardless of who wears the armband.

Man City, who are in need of their fourth permanent captain since Vincent Kompany departed the club at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, exemplifies how minimal the impact of such a change must be.

In light of the fact that Henderson was Reds captain for eight seasons, following in the footsteps of the legendary Steven Gerrard, who wore the armband for 12 years, it is comprehensible why a long-term option would be preferred at Anfield. In fact, it is all that Liverpool has known for the past two decades.

Jurgen Klopp has to do what he’s never done as Liverpool’s captaincy clue is made