The Leader Liverpool Deserve

Jordan Henderson returned to the starting lineup today against Leicester, and the Anfield Talk’s Em (@Emmalouu) takes a look at the skipper’s career…

Jordan Henderson is arguably one of the most under-rated players in the Premier League. When he joined Liverpool in 2011, fans weren’t too keen to see what the youngster was able to bring to the club following our previous midfield glories from the likes of Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and even Lucas Leiva. I can only assume that Henderson had taken some inspiration from Lucas before his recent departure in 2017 as, when reflecting back on a derby game, Henderson had shared his admiration for the former midfielder;

“Any person joining Liverpool who is looking for a role model or an example to follow then, for me, you look no further than Lucas Leiva”

Henderson then rooted himself in the team as a regular player and after displaying the incredible things he has brought to the club, he became vice-captain under Steven Gerrard and eventually, after Gerrard’s move to LA Galaxy in 2015, was named the team’s captain. This was clearly such a big step for our midfield star since his rocky start in 2011 and Henderson only seems to be consistently on the up both on and off the field.

Following his success in the league, Henderson was included in the 23-man England National team for the World Cup 2018 and quickly became one of the most important players in the squad with a 100% tackle success rate and 84% completion of his overall 64 passes. After Liverpool’s loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League final (sorry), England manager Gareth Southgate decided to give captain status to Harry Kane although Henderson still kept the team spirit up by sharing his contentedness with Southgate’s decision

“I was really pleased for Harry and he is a fantastic player.”

Henderson could be named as the biggest help for England’s success in the World Cup this year, from his incredible tackle rates to him having the top amount of caps; a total of 44, this being drawn with Raheem Sterling. He has been fondly called the ‘un-sung hero’ of the English National team and hopefully we will continue to see this World Cup form throughout the upcoming season.

The captain was limited to a few sub appearances to start the season. Didn’t stop his impact.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp started Henderson against Leicester, his first start this season, meaning the Liverpool captain has only started a quarter of games he’s been available for; but that hasn’t hindered his bold performances as he clearly dominates the field as soon as he steps onto the pitch.

With regards to the Reds’ home game against Brighton, Henderson was seen to absolutely reign over the opposing side as soon as he was put on as a substitute for Naby Keita who came off in the 66th minute. His certainty on the field truly makes me stand by the fact that Henderson is severely underrated; in the small time of the 27 minutes he was on the field for, Henderson had a total of 39 passes with a 95% of pass successes in which Brighton midfielder, Davy Propper had only 29 passes in the 93 minute game. Not only does Henderson bring credibility to the team, he also seems to hold the team together

“He got on the ball, calmed things down and was excellent.” – John Aldridge

Which goes to show that even if Klopp decides to not start Jordan Henderson every game, he is still able to come onto the pitch and create such a huge impact.

A short, but sweet appearance against West Ham on opening day.
In regard to Henderson’s lack of appreciation many Chelsea fans, or football fans in general, are getting in over their heads with new Chelsea midfielder Jorginho due to him having 130 passes in a 2-1 win over Newcastle, despite most of them being arrogantly sideways. Given that Chelsea had 81% possession of the ball through this game, it can only be assumed that the players stats were going to be high, although fans seem to be really impressed by the things Jorginho is bringing to the club this season which happen to be not too dissimilar from that in which Henderson was bringing to Liverpool last year. The only difference there being that fans began hating on Henderson instead of being dazzled as they are now with Chelsea’s new midfield maestro.

Henderson will always have an important role to play in the Liverpool set-up, either from the bench or from the start. He’s a vocal leader and you can only imagine how effective he is in the dressing room. He may not be starting week-in, week-out currently but it’s only a matter of time before Liverpool’s mackem captain comes back to prove everyone wrong (again).

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