Jordan Henderson had the “hardest job in world football” in replacing Steven Gerrard as Liverpool captain, says boss Jurgen Klopp.
Some fans have been critical of the England midfielder, who was on the bench in the Reds’ 7-0 Champions League win over Spartak Moscow on Wednesday.
“I live in this city and I get it a little bit sometimes how people are talking about it,” said Klopp.
“He is such an important player for us – I don’t get why I have to say that.”
Henderson replaced Gerrard, who scored 186 goals in 710 appearances for Liverpool, as captain in the summer of 2015 when the Reds legend – who is now a youth coach at Anfield – joined LA Galaxy.
“Being the skipper of Liverpool is the hardest job in world football because the man who had the armband before was Steven Gerrard. Sorry, he finished playing football, we cannot get him back,” said Klopp – who was appointed after Gerrard’s exit.
“I want everyone to respect that Jordan Henderson is our skipper because he deserved it and he is the right man for the job. That doesn’t mean he can play all the games.”
Klopp says Henderson will start Sunday’s game against Everton (14:15 GMT) and added: “I am not sure if it is English or old-fashioned but even a captain cannot play all the time, that’s how it is. You cannot bring him only because of the armband.
“I made a decision for this [Spartak] game and it made sense in this kind of week that you need players on the pitch who know 100% about the derby and what it is about.”
Source: BBC SPORTS