London: Liverpool have appointed Virgil van Dijk as the club’s new skipper, with fellow defender Trent Alexander-Arnold taking on the vice-captain’s role, the Premier League club announced on Monday.
The 32-year-old Virgil, who also captains the Netherlands national team, will replace Jordan Henderson after the England midfielder joined Saudi Pro League club Al Ettifaq last week, ending a 12-year stay at Anfield.
Van Dijk has made 222 appearances for the Merseyside giants since moving from Championship side Southampton in 2018.
“It’s a really proud day for me, for my wife, for my kids, my family. It’s been a special feeling and I can’t really describe it at this point. But it’s something that I’m really, really proud of,” Van Dijk said in a statement.
“I will do everything in my power and what I can do to make everyone proud and happy with me and the football club.” After narrowly missing out on an unprecedented quadruple in the 2021-22 season, winning two domestic cups, Liverpool will not feature in the Champions League for the first time under Juergen Klopp since the German manager’s first full season in 2016-17.
“We also have to be a bit patient but we want to be there and we want to show what we’re capable of because we have a fantastic group of players, staff, fans, stadium...,” Van Dijk added.
“It’s all about doing it together with the consistency and hopefully we can show it.” Alexander-Arnold, 24, joined Liverpool’s academy in 2004 and captained the club across the youth level. He will take over charge from veteran James Milner, who joined Brighton & Hove Albion in this transfer window.