Jordan Henderson
Jordan Henderson says Liverpool have plenty of candidates to replace Steven Gerrard Getty Images

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson is expecting competition from a host of teammates for the vacant role as club captain at the end of the season, with as many as five other players in contention for the armband, according to the England international.

Henderson has deputised during Gerrard's recent seven-game absence due to a hamstring injury, swelling speculation that he may become the new the permanent skipper upon the 34-year-old's summer move to LA Galaxy.

But in an attempt to dampen such conjecture, Henderson says there are several candidates to replace Gerrard as Liverpool captain, including midfielder Emre Can and defender Martin Skrtel.

"Next season we'll see what happens because it might not be me succeeding Stevie, it might be someone else," he told the official Liverpool magazine. "There are a lot of strong leaders in the dressing room. There are a lot of big characters in the team - down to earth, humble people.

"Mama [Sakho], Emre [Can] and Skrts [Martin Skrtel] have developed a strong collective understanding. You can see their passion, they're desperate to win, they give everything. Studge [Daniel Sturridge] is a big character. Lucas [Leiva] is too. I can only do the current job the best I can."

Henderson's campaign to replace Gerrard has been boosted by Liverpool's unbeaten league run during his tenure as captain, with the club having surged to within two points of fourth-place Manchester United in the race for a top-four spot.

But the ex-Sunderland man says he will always look to Gerrard for inspiration and admits to have taken on board several of the Liverpool legend's characteristics.

"Stevie's the perfect captain really. He's a leader on and off the field," Henderson added. "He's someone we all look up to. He always puts the team first. He's very unselfish.

"When I became vice-captain, I tried to learn as much from him as I could. The thing I've probably learnt most from Stevie is the way he overcomes the disappointments. I think that defines you more than anything.

"I can relate to it. If I look back to my first season here, it wasn't easy. But it made me stronger. I always think of losing the FA Cup [final to Chelsea] rather than winning the League Cup. Setbacks like that inspire you to want more - to progress and to win."