Class of 2018/19: Jordan Henderson

The Class of 2018/19 is a short series in which, ahead of the new season starting on Friday, The Anfield Talk contributors review the 2018/19 season’s of Liverpool’s squad. 

Here is @hannah_pinnock, reviewing Jordan Henderson’s season…

“If anyone other than you lifts up that trophy they are getting fucking wrestled to the ground.”

The words of James Milner undoubtedly reflected the views of Liverpool fans across the world on June 1 – nobody deserved to lift that Champions League trophy more so than Jordan Henderson.

After years of criticism, the Liverpool captain has finally proved why he’s one of Jurgen Klopp’s most integral players and he ended a brilliant season with the biggest prize in club football to his name.

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Since taking the arm band from Steven Gerrard in 2015, the midfielder has endured years of comparison and disapproval from Reds, but now he will always be remembered as one of the club’s greats.

As in previous seasons, Henderson started the 18/19 campaign in a deeper role playing as a number six.

It is no secret that he has limitations in this role, with defence and control being his main duties he rarely has the licence to get forward and influence the game.

Despite the arrivals of Fabinho and Naby Keita last summer, the England international retained his spot in Klopp’s team and was eventually moved further up the field in the latter stages of the season.

The stand-out fixture last term, and a turning point in his Liverpool career, was the 1-3 victory away to Southampton on April 5.

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It was widely reported in the build-up to the game that Henderson had been urging the boss to play him in a more advanced role and his influence was certainly felt when he came on to score the Red’s third of the night.

The closing stages of the season became pivotal and the captain’s outstanding never-say-die attitude, his passion and drive were instrumental in Liverpool making it to Madrid and ultimately lifting the Champions League trophy for the sixth time.

His performance at home to Barcelona in the semi-final epitomises who he is as a person and a player and ensured no doubt was left in the minds of Liverpool fans as to whether or not he was fit to captain this football club.

The midfielder was playing through injury after a collision with Clement Lenglet, but he made sure he was able to stay on the pitch and drive the team to a historical win over the Catalonian side.

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Next season is sure to be a big one for Henderson as the Reds gear up for another title push, after falling at the final hurdle in the race against Manchester City.

He will have a significant part to play and hopefully in a more advanced role as Fabinho has made the number six role his own.

But one thing is for sure, the Liverpool captain will no doubt continue to inspire this next chapter in the club’s history books.

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