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Van Dijk says becoming Liverpool captain would be ‘an honour’

Virgil van Dijk said Saturday he was confident that Liverpool’s players will step up to fill the void left by Jordan Henderson and said it would be “an honour” to succeed him as captain.

England midfielder Henderson moved to the Saudi Pro League this week and Dutch defender Van Dijk, who has worn the arm band before, is widely tipped to take over as skipper

“Obviously he’s going to be a big miss for us as a player and definitely as a leader and a captain, someone who’s so important for us and successful at the club over the last years,” Van Dijk said in Singapore, where Liverpool face Leicester City on Sunday.

Henderson, James Milner and Roberto Firmino have all departed this summer, but Van Dijk says others in the squad will make up for it when it comes to leadership. 

“Definitely we have a lot of players who can take that responsibility and have to take that responsibility, so I am confident that will happen,” Van Dijk, 32, added.

While he didn’t want to say too much about Henderson’s replacement as captain, Van Dijk was clear about what it would mean to him if he was asked to take the arm band permanently.

“Obviously I have captained the side multiple times over the last couple of years and it’s always a proud moment to do that. We’ll see what the future brings but it would be a huge honour to captain the side.”

Van Dijk is expected to lead Jurgen Klopp’s team against Leicester, but Klopp was giving little away beyond that.

“I know my decision already but I have to tell it first to the players… before I speak in public about it,” said the German.

“It’s an important decision but more important is the general leadership group we create. It’s a big change for us.”

Klopp remained optimistic despite the changes.

“Things have to change at some point, that’s clear as you can’t expect things to go on without any changes or developments,” he said.

“I can see a lot of positive signs in training and the games as well. The boys understand the situation and I’m really happy about that.”

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