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Remembering every Liverpool captain of the Premier League era

Liverpool have named Virgil van Dijk as the club’s new captain for the upcoming season, with the Dutch defender replacing the departed Jordan Henderson in the role.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are set for a new era of leadership after vice-captain James Milner also moved on this summer and have named Trent Alexander-Arnold as the new deputy for the armband.

Following Van Dijk’s appointment as captain, we’ve remembered every Liverpool leader of the Premier League era.

Remembering every Liverpool captain of the Premier League era.

Mark Wright – 1992-1993

Liverpool made Mark Wright the most expensive defender in English football history when signing the centre-back from Southampton in 1991, securing a £2.2m deal for the England international.

Wright arrived as a replacement for the retiring Alan Hansen and won the FA Cup in his debut season, before being named captain for the inaugural Premier League campaign in 1992/93.

Wright lost the captaincy ahead of the following campaign, but remained at Anfield until 1997. The defender made 210 appearances for the Reds in all competitions.

Ian Rush – 1993-1996

Ian Rush replaced Wright as club captain and spent three seasons wearing the armband before retirement.

The forward became Liverpool’s all-time record goalscorer across two spells at the club, punctuated by an unsuccessful sojourn to Juventus. Rush scored a record-breaking 346 goals in all competitions for the Reds and was the club’s leading goalscorer in eight different campaigns.

His finest season came in 1983/84, as Liverpool won a league, European Cup and League Cup treble. The Welshman scored 47 goals in all competitions to win a PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year double, alongside the First Division and European Golden Boots.

Rush’s best came before the Premier League era, but he remained a reliable goalscoring presence during the division’s first seasons. He scored 43 goals across four Premier League campaigns, before departing Liverpool to sign for Leeds.

John Barnes – 1996-1997

John Barnes inherited the armband from Rush in what proved to be the final season of an illustrious Liverpool career.

Barnes signed for Liverpool from Watford in the late eighties and went on to become one of the club’s greatest ever talents. The winger was unstoppable at his best and won the PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards as Liverpool won the title in 1987/88, before winning a second FWA accolade two seasons later.

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Barnes moved into a central role during the latter period of his time at Liverpool, evolving from marauding wideman into a controlling central playmaker. He left Liverpool to sign for Newcastle in 1997, having scored 106 goals in 403 appearances for the Reds.

Paul Ince – 1997-1999

Paul Ince was a controversial choice of captain, with the Liverpool fans failing to warm to the midfielder given his past allegiances to Manchester United.

Ince signed for Liverpool in a £4.2m move from Inter Milan, having emerged as one of the Premier League’s best midfielders at Manchester United before a successful spell in Italy.

The self-titled ‘Guv’nor’ scored 17 goals and provided 12 assists across two seasons at Anfield, but was allowed to leave in a cut-price deal for Middlesbrough after a fall-out with manager Gerard Houllier.

Jamie Redknapp – 1999-2002

Jamie Redknapp replaced Ince as captain, but his time wearing the armband was limited due to a succession of injury problems.

The midfielder was an impressive performer during his first seasons in the Liverpool first-team, but fitness issues plagued Redknapp during the latter period of his time at Anfield. He was club captain for three seasons, but made just 31 appearances during that time.

Liverpool won a FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup treble during the 2000/01 season, but Redknapp missed the entire campaign as he recovered from knee surgery.

Robbie Fowler – 2000-2001

Robbie Fowler captained the club in Redknapp’s absence during the 2000/01 campaign, in which Gerard Houllier’s side secured a cup treble and Champions League qualification.

Fowler scored 17 goals in all competitions including a stunning effort in the League Cup final against Birmingham, but that decider was the sole final Fowler started due to competition from Michael Owen and Emile Heskey. He did, however, come off the bench to net in the club’s UEFA Cup final win over Spanish side Alaves.

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The campaign was Fowler’s final full season as a Liverpool player, as the forward completed a £12m move to Leeds. He returned for a short second spell and remains one of the club’s most beloved figures, having scored 183 goals in all competitions.

Sami Hyypia – 2002-2003

The Finnish man-mountain was named captain for the 2002/03 campaign, having captained Liverpool for much of the previous two seasons in the absence of Redknapp and Fowler.

Hyypia had emerged as one of Liverpool’s great Premier League bargains after his £2.6m arrival from Willem II, spending a decade with the club and forging a reputation as one of the division’s most commanding centre-backs.

Hyypia made 464 appearances for the Reds and won five major honours, but relinquished the captaincy in 2003 to an emerging Steven Gerrard, following a brief loss of form.

Steven Gerrard – 2003-2015

Steven Gerrard fulfilled his boyhood dreams after being appointed as Liverpool captain and became one of the club’s greatest figures.

Gerrard captained Liverpool to Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup success after taking the armband, producing man-of-the-match performances in the first two of those finals.

The midfielder dragged an average Liverpool side to some of their most memorable triumphs, including a brilliant performance against AC Milan as the Champions League was won in Istanbul and that late goal to rescue the FA Cup final against West Ham in 2006.

Arguably the most celebrated player in the club’s history, he made 710 appearances for Liverpool before a move to MLS side LA Galaxy in 2015.

Jordan Henderson – 2015-2023

Jordan Henderson had big boots to fill after taking the captain’s armband from Liverpool’s homegrown hero, but the midfielder grew into the role after swapping Wearside for Merseyside.

Henderson initially struggled following his £16m move from Sunderland, but his work-ethic ensured he departed Liverpool eight seasons later as a hugely respected figure.

His first trophy came with Champions League success in 2019, before he captained the side to a first top-flight league title in 30 years the following season.

Henderson won praise for his conduct off the pitch and for setting standards upon it, including an initiative to raise funds for the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic. Far from the most glamorous footballer of the Jurgen Klopp era, but among the most important.

Read – Defensive Rocks: Sami Hyypia – A Finnish man mountain

Read Also – What is Paul Ince’s legacy? Why England’s first black captain is football’s forgotten man

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