England interim manager Gareth Southgate thinks Jordan Henderson has successfully filled the void left by Steven Gerrard at Liverpool. The 26-year-old midfielder assumed the armband at Anfield from Gerrard in 2015 and has impressed in the role.
Now, Henderson is poised to lead his country for the first time against Slovenia in the World Cup qualifier in Ljubljana – and Southgate has expressed his confidence in the newly-appointed skipper.
"What stood out for me is that he has taken over as captain at a club where he has succeeded one of the most iconic English footballers of all time," Southgate said, according to ESPN.
"That would have been a difficult challenge for him and he has matured from that. He has shown great leadership skills with his club. He is used to being captain which is important. He has got a voice and an opinion within this group and he has got his clear ideas of what we need to work on.
"It was not an easy decision because there are other senior players in that dressing room but he has captained a big football club and is used to that responsibility so it is the right decision for me."
Henderson's leadership skills have also been praised by Wayne Rooney, who will start the England game on the bench. Rooney, 30, said Henderson has proven his captaincy credentials at Liverpool.
"I think Jordan's a fantastic leader," Rooney shared. "He's taken an incredibly difficult job from Steven Gerrard and he's really grown into that position. He's a fantastic player with great leadership qualities. He deserves his chance tomorrow night to captain England. I'm sure for him it's a really proud moment and his family as well."