Emre Can
Emre Can has impressed in his maiden season at LiverpoolGetty Images

Liverpool midfielder Emre Can is the leading candidate to replace Steven Gerrard as the captain at Anfield, according to defender Kolo Toure.

Since moving from Bayer Leverkusen for a reported £9.8m ($15m) in the 2014 summer transfer window, Can has made 33 appearances in all competitions, starting the last 19 games in a row for the Reds mainly as an auxiliary defender.

The 21-year-old is expected to move into his more favoured role in midfield next season upon the departure of Gerrard, who will join MLS side LA Galaxy in the summer, and Toure says he could also fill in for the former England international as Liverpool captain.

"He is a top player," the Ivory Coast international said. "He has been playing outstandingly at the back and in midfield he is a very strong player. We like him here. He is from Germany and German players are good. They learn football and they are really intelligent, tactically outstanding and are really strong.

"I am not surprised how he has been doing because he has been working hard at training and he is a top professional. He is young but really good. He is a leader. When you are on the pitch you can see by the way he plays he is really confident and he talks on the pitch as well.

Gerrard has missed Liverpool's last seven matches with a hamstring complaint and in his absence, Jordan Henderson has been deputising as skipper. But manager Brendan Rodgers has not yet confirmed who will lead the team from next season.

"Right now Jordan Henderson is very good [as captain] but there is no doubt this boy [Can] is going to be a king here because he is a top player and can make a difference on games," the Liverpool defender added. "He can score goals, his work-rate is amazing and there is no better player."