Copy of 2023-07-30T083755Z_2010500445_UP1EJ7U0NZ59G_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-FRIENDLY-LIV-LEI-REPORT-1690825972823
Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk during the pre-season friendly against Leicester City at National Stadium, Kallang, Singapore on Sunday. Image Credit: Reuters

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.