Liverpool will currently be thinking about signing long-term replacements for some of their ageing stars, with Jordan Henderson being one of them.
While the skipper recently extended his contract at the club, he turned 31 this summer.
So, he probably only has two more seasons as a regular starter at Anfield, and that is if he manages to stay injury-free for that time.
Ideally, Liverpool will sign his long-term replacement next summer so they can learn from him before he eventually moves on.
Here, we will rank the three ideal replacements for Jordan Henderson.
3. Nicolo Barella
When thinking of Henderson replacements, we have to consider the fact that we need to not only replace his football ability, but also his energy and leadership qualities.
Nicolo Barella brings all of that in abundance. The only reason he is not higher on this list is his age. At 24-years-old (25 in February), he is slightly older than we would like.
He would have to go straight into the starting XI that played game in, game out.
Ideally, Liverpool would be signing someone younger that might be alright with spending a few games on the bench for the sake of their own development.
2. Ryan Gravenberch
If reports are to be believed, the Reds are big fans of Ryan Gravenberch.
The 19-year-old Ajax kid has been tipped for a huge future, having earned his Netherlands debut at age 18.
Standing at over 6’2″ tall, Gravenberch is a midfield metronome. He has absolutely everything needed to be a top-level midfielder, and is already very close to reaching that level.
By the time he is 23, he will probably be one of the absolute best players in the world. His former academy coach has already told Goal that he is a better version of Paul Pogba.
While his playing style may be slightly different to Henderson’s, he will be more than capable of replacing his quality. We can see him growing into a big leader down the line too.
If Liverpool want to secure a world-class No 8 for years to come, Gravenberch may be the man.
1. Jude Bellingham
However, there is one more central midfielder that we believe would be even more perfect than Ryan Gravenberch to replace Henderson.
Any regular RTK readers will not be surprised to see that our No 1 candidate is Jude Bellingham.
We have gone on and on about how perfect he is for Liverpool, especially as a Henderson replacement.
The homegrown factor is a huge part of this, but the fact that he is close to world-class having just turned 18 is the main reason.
Again, he brings the perfect attitude, leadership and physicality that Henderson possesses, but he is also top quality with the ball.
This is a deal that just seems destined to happen, as the player and club are a perfect match.
According to the reliable Patrick Berger, the Reds are very interested in signing Bellingham next summer, so let’s hope that they don’t let us down.