Jordan Henderson
Jordan Henderson has been heavily tipped to succeed Steven Gerrard at the end of the seasonGetty Images

Jason McAteer has become the latest figure to back Jordan Henderson to replace Steven Gerrard as Liverpool captain after the inspirational skipper confirmed his departure from Anfield at the end of the season.

Gerrard will move to Major League Soccer at the climax of his 17th year as a professional on Merseyside, leaving manager Brendan Rodgers with the daunting task of replacing the legendary Reds midfielder.

But McAteer says the Liverpool boss need not look far to find a replacement for Gerrard, claiming Henderson is tailor-made for the role as the primary figure in midfield.

"Jordan Henderson is obviously the vice-captain and he will probably be the one who slots into the Steven Gerrard role in midfield," McAteer told Talksport. "He's certainly happier playing in that central midfield role, rather than out wide.

"Jordan has grown in confidence having been handed the vice-captaincy role. He's done an admirable job when he's been asked to captain the team and maybe give it to him. I think Jordan has a voice and he'll grow in confidence and stature when he takes over full time."

Rodgers admitted prior to the FA Cup third-round tie against AFC Wimbledon that Henderson was a candidate to replace Gerrard but the Northern Irishman is still expected to beef up his midfield options come the end of the season.

Gerrard, 34, marked his first appearance since announcing his intention to leave Liverpool with a timely match-winning performance against the League Two opposition, scoring twice to set up a fourth-round meeting with Bolton Wanderers.

With Liverpool off the pace in the race for the Premier League title, out of the Champions League and due to face Chelsea in the League Cup semi-final, the FA Cup perhaps represents Gerrard's best chances of ending his final season at Anfield with some silverware.