Cape Town - Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has backed the plan to have the club build a team around England international midfielder Jordan Henderson.
With captain Steve Gerrard set to leave Anfield at the end of the season, Carragher says Henderson is the natural choice to lead the club.
"I think he's vitally important. He's an England player and although he's not a local player, the way he performs for Liverpool shows you the passion that he's got," Carragher said.
"He's a regular for England and without Steven Gerrard he's taken on the role of the captaincy this season. The manager has said it isn't set in stone that he will get it next season but I'd be very surprised if he wasn't.
"His record as captain is very good and he's a player who has grown into playing for Liverpool after a difficult start."
Liverpool are reportedly close to completing a five-year deal with the player, who joined the Anfield outfit from Sunderland for £20m in 2011.
Carragher also reiterated his support for manager Brendan Rodgers, who he believes can steer the Merseyside club back to its glory days.
"Brendan, the players and the staff will be looking to next season and thinking they will go one step further, winning a trophy maybe and getting back into the top four," Carragher added.
"That's his job. He has to identify where in the team they need to improve; the squad is there and they did a lot of that last summer."