Underestimating and underestimating their value. Not anymore.
The Football Book Jordan Henderson has been Footballer of the Year and a contender for the PFA Player of the Year award, and has also been the European League champion and Premier League champion for the past two seasons.
Not bad for a player who was once considered an extravagant failure, as he was told that he couldn’t run properly and that someone the Reds wanted to use as a heavyweight in a deal to sign Clint Dempsey of Fulham in 2012.
But, while he appears to be ready to win his 57th match for England against Denmark in the Nations League on Wednesday, we look at how he became the heartbeat of the club and the country and evolved into the captain we see today?
“The last one through the door”
Henderson made 71 Premier League appearances for his hometown club Sunderland before his £ 20m move to Anfield in 2011.
However, he was almost rejected by the black cats, who had doubts about his best position and about his size.
“When we were making decisions about players as young as 16, there were big question marks about him,” said Jade McNamee, the club’s academy director at the time.
“The medical department did some checks and the consensus was that he would grow but he was the last to enter the door. We spoke to the family and it was a very emotional meeting because there was a lot of pressure dislocating their shoulders but it blossomed once his body stabilized.”
From being in touch and going for a scholarship, Henderson made quick strides at the Academy of Light, admiring his work ethic, attitude, and ability.
“He was motivated to be a player and manager Roy Kane saw something in him that he liked,” said McNamee.
“ After the poorly-gone reserve game, he asked Roy Jordan and a few other players if they thought they could play in the first team and when Jordan said ‘yes’ he showed him he had a little bit of a bottle.
“When he was called to train, he would often play in matches alongside Roy in central midfield. So when he was 16 and 17 years old, he had someone of this stature and quality to talk to, coach him and tell him what he needed to do. with it.
“The manager has been working with him the whole time but I think it pushed him to improve and he wants more.”
“The star of the team is the team”
Part of the spirit at Al Noor Academy was that “the star of the team is the team” and it seems he has stayed with Henderson ever since.
The taste of the championship also helped cement him – during a loan spell at Coventry in 2009 – three months after Kane gave him his first-division debut after his 5–0 defeat to Chelsea.
“You can see he had something about him and how he could become a captain,” said former Coventry goalkeeper Andy Marshall.
“Back then we would have really struggled without him. He carried him together for us at such a young age.
“We were thinking” Who the hell is this kid? ” “But one of the first things I noticed is his work rate – a lot of times players from big clubs on loan go to a lower level and the work rate is not there.”
His mentality is extraordinary
On his return to Sunderland, Henderson made his England debut against France in November 2010 and gave him a starting point to join Liverpool for around 20 million pounds.
However, life on Merseyside did not start so well as he struggled to post it on the right and draw unfavorable comparisons with Reds captain Steven Gerrard.
“It was always impossible for him to keep that up,” said former Reds midfielder Danny Murphy.
“It was only since Gerrard’s departure in 2015, and the team began to develop under the leadership of Jurgen Klopp, that people have been able to see Henderson’s special qualities.”
Former coach Brendan Rodgers initially tried to dump the midfielder in his pursuit of the US international Dempsey.
“To be on the verge of being sold or loaned to Fulham and say, ‘No, I’m committed here, I want to fight for my place’,” said former Reds defender Stephen Warnock. “This faith in himself shines through.”
“He took a lot of hits with people frustrating him, but his mental strength is probably one of the best or most powerful we’ve seen in the Premier League. I think his mentality is extraordinary.”
Henderson’s Growing Influence
Since Klopp’s arrival in 2015, the 30-year-old midfielder has arguably raised his game level year after year.
|With Henderson||Statistic||Without Henderson|
|0.9||Average goals against||1.2|
His work also transcended football during the UK lockdown when he was instrumental on call His Premier League teammates are organizing a Coronavirus Fund to raise money for the NHS.
“I really shocked him when he started his first match for Sunderland in 2008. He was a decent midfielder then and his father came to me after the match and said to me, ‘It’s my first match, is there any chance of getting a shirt as a souvenir’,” Warnock added.
“I didn’t know much what he would go on in his career and who would be the great Liverpool captain he would be.
“As a midfielder, you see a completely different player. He suits his style of play. But he’s more than just a change of position – he has grown into the captain role and realizes he carries a little weight.
“When you see him turn around and hit the likes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Virgil Van Dyck while they listen to him, that indicates that they understand the role he plays as a leader and what he brings to the team.
“He earned his place as one of Liverpool’s great captains, for everything he did and the way he did it. He was the captain who lifted the Premier League Cup at the end of that wait, but he made more of it – if you look at everything he did, he was exceptional. “.