He may have played in every minute of every league match of Liverpool’s season, but Steven Gerrard can’t go on forever. There will come a time when the Reds need to plan for life without their captain.
That life doesn’t look like coming any time soon given the enormous energy levels and frequent quality displayed by Gerrard for much of this season, but the skipper will be 33 at the end of the campaign. "Veteran" status is approaching.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has already spoken of extending Gerrard’s contract past its current expiration date next summer (via Yahoo! Sport), but although he will surely continue as Reds captain until his very last kick of a ball for the club, perhaps Rodgers will find that he needs to get his inspirational performances from elsewhere.
The talismanic displays from Gerrard won’t go on forever, and so as Liverpool start to think of life without their main man, just who can the Reds look to for inspiration?
Here are five men with the potential to fill Gerrard’s role. Some are already performing inspirational feats, others are a little less familiar, but all have big shoes to fill.