Former Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer says it would be a natural progression for Mat Ryan to become the next Australia captain.
Ryan is the frontrunner to inherit recently retired Mark Milligan's armband, having skippered the Socceroos in Milligan's absence for the last two World Cup qualifiers against Taiwan and Jordan.
The 27-year-old has won 59 caps for Australia and is a key player for Brighton in the English Premier League.
"Mat Ryan has done really well so far," Schwarzer told SEN.
"He's stood in a couple of times to be captain and I think he's got the respect of his teammates. He's playing at the very highest level.
"He's been exceptional in the last couple of seasons.
"It's kind of one of those ones where it's kind of a natural progression. He's the next one in line."
Next up for the Socceroos is a clash against Kuwait in Perth on March 26 , before a trip to Nepal five days later.