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Meet the young French heir to Gerrard’s Liverpool crown

| 21.01.2015

“The King is dead, long live the King” is a phrase not heard at Liverpool since Kenny Dalglish hung up his sceptre, but now his heir apparent Steven Gerrard is also abdicating, the search for the fresh prince of Anfield has commenced.

Jordan Henderson looks to have been earmarked for the armband, but while the former Sunderland man has many admirable leadership qualities, he’s not quite ready to assume the crown.

The 24-year-old is sure to be an Anfield fixture for many years to come though Gerrard’s long-term successor may just be a young Frenchman.

Mario Lemina is a not name many Reds fans will be familiar with, though that won’t be the case for much longer according to fresh reports.

Marseille’s 21-year-old centre-midfielder has popped up on Liverpool’s radar thanks to some highly-promising performances in the Ligue 1 side’s engine room.

Lemina was plucked from Lorient for the start of last season where he promptly broke into the first team at the Stade Velodrome, appearing three times for Marseilles in the Champions League and making 22 appearances all told.

This season Les Olympiens have kicked on and are sandwiched between Ligue 1 leaders Lyon and Paris St-Germain with a real chance at first French title in five years, at 5/1 with Ladbrokes.

Lemina is forging a reputation as an all-action midfielder, blessed with a wide-range of passing and tenacious in the tackle, though his tally of two goals is a little light.

He’s still light-years short of becoming the world-class performer he might be lined up to replace, though Brendan Rodgers has displayed a penchant for developing raw potential since taking up the Liverpool post.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.