The last two decades at Anfield have been defined by the combative, local hero and ‘Captain Fantastic’, Steven Gerard, driving the team forward from midfield with power and passion.
But now the Liverpool legend moved on to American shores, the time has come for another local boy to fill his shoes.
Comparisons to the former captain have been drawn with young Jordan Rossiter, and with the England Under-19 man making his senior debut for the Reds at the start of this season, we may begin to understand the comparisons soon.
Here we take a better look at the promising youngster…
What position does he play?
Rossiter takes up the central midfield position, playing his best football as a deep-lying playmaker, helping to break up opposition attacks and push the team goalwards with an impressive ability to find players in good positions further up the field with composed and forward thinking passes. A hard worker up and down the pitch, he ensures constant involvement in the game. His tough tackling and suitably aggressive playing style means he is also a capable defensive midfielder.
When did he first make name for himself?
The teenager has worked his way up through the Liverpool ranks, starting his career with the Reds at just six years old, climbing up to the Under-19 side when he was just 15, and winning Liverpool’s Academy Player of the Year award at the end of the 2013/14 season. His rapid rise and ferocious work rate saw him awarded a first-team place in 2014, scoring his first goal for the club in a League Cup match against Middlesbrough from 30 yards out.
How far can he go?
At 18, the Liverpool-born man continues to improve, earning great credit from all who work with him. Robbie Fowler has compared him to Gerard, while Adam Lallana named him as the club’s best young player. If he can fulfil what is expected of him, he could go very far, and with the dedication he shows on the field, it isn’t unreasonable to assert that he will.
What’s his best attributes?
Consistently playing well ahead of his age group since joining Liverpool in 2003, captaining the Under-19s to the UEFA Youth League, as well as the England Under-16s demonstrates his advanced maturity and leadership qualities. These qualities are complimented by a natural, raw ability in midfield; intelligent passing with real skill and an attacking brain. All this comes with the added bonus of being very capable and willing to get stuck in, making himself a real nuisance to the opposition.
What could hold him back?
New boss Jurgen Klopp has lamented a recent hamstring injury to Rossiter, after he played three games in five days for the England Under-19s. Such is his talent, that like many others like him, he can be overplayed and injured as a result. But apart from injuries stunting his immediate progress into the first-team squad, one other factor that may weigh heavy is the expectation placed upon his shoulders. Comparisons to club legends at such a young age could be hard to fulfil, but If he can stay focused and grounded, Liverpool will hope this won’t be an issue.