Carragher successor has big shoes to fill, says Liverpool skipper Gerrard

The England midfielder believes the retired centre-back will be a big loss for the Reds, but has backed the club to find adequate replacements having already signed Kolo Toure
Liverpool midfielder and captain Steven Gerrard admits the Anfield outfit will miss the presence of retired defender Jamie Carragher, and had hoped he could be persuaded to play for another season.

The 35-year-old called time on his career at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, having made over 700 appearances for the club in all competitions since making his debut in 1996.

Gerrard expects pre-season will feel “strange” in Carragher's absence, and believes the replacements – which include Kolo Toure – face a big task in filling the hole left by the Kop icon.

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“It will feel strange and it will be different. I'm used to hearing his voice from day one of pre-season,” Gerrard told the club's official website.

“But he's got other things that he needs to focus on; he's going down the TV avenue and he's going to be working for Sky, so we all wish him good luck with that.

“Of course, from a selfish point of view I wish he was coming back and doing one more season. Hopefully the replacements we get in perform well for us because they are certainly big shoes to fill.”

Liverpool are eager to continue to strengthen in the summer transfer window, and new signing Simon Mignolet has revealed it was the club's ambition that persuaded him to move to Anfield.

“From the talks I had with the manager and the goalkeeping coach I felt they were very ambitious and the club wants to get forward," said the Belgian goalkeeper.

“The signings they'd already done before July showed they really wanted to get going. They want to push on again in the Premier League. It was obvious that they are an ambitious club and a big club”