Jurgen Klopp this week revealed that three new players have been drafted into the Liverpool leadership committee following the departure of Gini Wijnaldum
Much of Jurgen Klopp’s success at Liverpool has been built around a solid core of experienced leaders.
While Jordan Henderson has been the man with the armband most often – he recently brought up 200 games as skipper – there are a number of players directly behind him.
During last season, that committee was made up of club captain Henderson, James Milner, Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum.
However, injuries decimated Klopp’s group, with all four players missing portions of the season through the injury.
And with Wijnaldum now departing the club, the Reds boss made it a priority to rebuild his official list of leaders via a team vote.
The new group of six players still includes Henderson, Milner and Van Dijk, while Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Alisson Becker have been drafted in.
“We had three captains in Hendo, Milly, Virg and the players voted for another three,” Klopp explained.
“So that was won by Trent, Robbo and Alisson Becker. It was just that from time to time last year with the amount of injuries we had, we had no-one available from the players’ committee out on the pitch.
“So that is why I decided to increase the group to six.”
One player that will likely be disappointed by the result of the dressing room vote will be Mohamed Salah.
The Liverpool talisman has long been the shining example to his team-mates, thanks to his stunning performances since his move in 2017.
But at the height of their injury woes last season, which saw all three captains ruled out, the Egyptian was still not given the honour of captaining the club.
In an interview with Spanish news outlet AS last year, Salah admitted that he would have liked to be given the chance to lead the Reds out against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League.
Instead, it was Alexander-Arnold that was given the armband, with Salah saying: “Honestly, I was very disappointed. I was hoping to be the captain, but it’s a coach’s decision. I accept it.”
Following the game, Klopp suggested he had made a mistake in making the right-back captain – but that wasn’t down to the disgruntled Salah.
“If they [players committee] all cannot play then it is usually the guy the longest at the club,” he said after the game with the Danish side..
“That was, in my understanding and how I saw it, was Trent. I don’t mean the youth career, the professional career.
“Someone told me after it should have been Divock Origi and that was my fault because of being out on loans and stuff like that.”
A reason that some may point to in regards to Salah’s omission, is the contract issue which continues to hang over him.
All three players added to the group have signed new deals this summer, while negotiations remain ongoing with their prolific forward.
It’s unlikely that would have been a defining factor however, after all, Wijnaldum was given the honour last season, despite it becoming increasingly clear he would leave the club at the conclusion of the season.
Regardless, with six players now ahead of him, the chances of Salah captaining Liverpool this season appear remarkably slim. But the sheer number of leaders within Klopp’s squad highlight why they are one of the teams to beat in this season’s title race.