Premier League • England

Liverpool transfer news: Klopp told why Declan Rice is the only man to replace midfield stalwart

Declan Rice, West Ham Utd, during Europa League - Semi Final - First Leg - West Ham United v Eintracht Frankfurt - London Stadium, London

Liverpool have been told that Declan Rice is the man to turn to if they are going to replace skipper Jordan Henderson any time soon.

Despite having many critics during his 11 years at Anfield, Henderson led the Reds to their first Premier League title success in 30 years in 2020 and lifted a seventh Champions League just a year earlier.

However, he is no longer considered an automatic selection for Jurgen Klopp’s men. Indeed, Naby Keita was preferred for the second leg of the Champions League semi-final at Villarreal in midweek.

Henderson is still a key cog in Klopp’s midfield engine room though. Indeed, he only signed a new four-year contract with Liverpool last summer.

But with some calls suggesting he could eventually be frozen out on Merseyside, former Anfield man Danny Murphy thinks Rice is the man who should replace him.

The West Ham star will not come cheap, however, with David Moyes rating him at a whopping £150million.

Despite that loft figure, Murphy insists Rice would be a ‘phenomenal’ signing.

Rice still has room to improve

Speaking to Anfield Watch, on behalf of The Punters Page, Murphy said: “Declan Rice for me 100%. I think if you’re looking for a Jordan Henderson replacement, then you need somebody who could be there for the next ten years.

“Rice is a super athlete; he can get box-to-box like Henderson and he leads others around him.

“He doesn’t have to play the holding role, but he could if Fabinho got injured, and I think he could become a great number eight in a better side.

“He’ll be able to get forward more and score goals which he has shown at times. I know he’ll be really expensive, and Liverpool won’t pay that sort of money. But if you’re asking me from a fan’s mindset and a pundit mindset, then if Liverpool were to only sign Declan Rice it would be a phenomenal signing. But as I say I think it would be unlikely.”

Rice has notched six goals in 50 games in all competitions for the Hammers this term, adding four assists.

Henderson, in comparison, has netted three times and he does have more assists with six in 51 games.

Rice suits frantic Klopp style

The one thing you have to have in Jurgen Klopp’s midfield is energy and Rice has that in abundance.

The fact that he is still developing his game would also make him a dream to work with alongside Klopp, who is renowned for improving players.

Despite all that, it’s harsh on Henderson that may pundits feel his Liverpool career is on the slide.

At 31, he still has plenty to give and could be the man that leads the club to an unprecedented quadruple this term.

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