Liverpool will find it impossible to replace Steven Gerrard following the ex-England captain's departure to LA Galaxy in the upcoming summer transfer window, according to former teammate Joe Cole.
Gerrard leaves Anfield after 17 years on Merseyside to move to Major League Soccer after a club career that has included over 700 professional appearances and included eight major honours.
Cole, a former club and international teammate, was part of the Aston Villa side that defeated Liverpool at Wembley and ended Gerrard's hopes of finishing his English football career with a piece of silverware.
"Liverpool, without Steven? "Any team that loses Steven Gerrard it's going to be tough to replace him we know that," Cole said. "I don't think you can replace him," he added.
"He's probably the best player of his generation for England and for Liverpool he's been unbelievable so it's a tall ask but they've got a good manager in Brendan and he can change things around."
Gerrard made his first Liverpool start since February in the 2-1 loss to Villa and was ineffectual throughout as his Reds career threatens to fizzle outs, with the club's Champions League qualification hopes also hanging by a thread.
Manager Brendan Rodgers said Gerrard was "disappointed" after the game and defender Kolo Toure has added that the 34-year-old cut a sad figure in the dressing room as the defeat began to sink in.
"You feel bad. It is always difficult when you lose a semi-final like that," Toure told Press Association Sport. "The defeat is the thing. Of course we wanted to do very well for the last game of Stevie for the club but at the end of the day, we wanted to do it for the fans because this club deserves to have a trophy.
"He [Gerrard] is fine. Of course he is sad, like all the dressing room, but he has been in this game for a long time and he knows how to deal with these situations."