Stan Collymore has lauded Jordan Henderson for proving his doubters wrong and filling the leadership role vacated by Steven Gerrard at Liverpool.
The 29-year-old midfielder has been with the Reds since 2011, making him their current longest-serving player.
How has Henderson answered his critics? Five key things to know…
- Jordan Henderson joined Liverpool from boyhood club Sunderland in 2011.
- He’s since gone to make 339 appearances in all competitions, scoring 26 goals and creating 46 more.
- Henderson was named Reds captain in 2015 by Brendan Rodgers, succeeding Gerrard in the process.
- Since his arrival Henderson has often been maligned by supporters and observers.
- However, he has gone on to prove his worth under Klopp, and Collymore has now praised Henderson for silencing his critics.
Since joining from boyhood club Sunderland he’s gone on to make 339 appearances in all competitions, registering 26 goals and creating a further 46 for his teammates.
Henderson, in 2015 was named captain by former boss Brendan Rodgers, a role he went on to retain following the arrival of Jurgen Klopp that same year.
During his time on Merseyside, though, Henderson hasn’t always been viewed positively, with many questioning the Sunderland-born footballer’s regular presence.
However, Klopp has previously spoken of Henderson’s importance on and off the pitch. That viewpoint is now being appreciated, with ex-Reds striker Collymore the latest to doff his cap.
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“Those two [Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson] have rightly taken the plaudits but I want to pick out Jordan Henderson, who is so far removed from the player many of us thought he was three or four years ago,” he wrote in his Daily Mirror column.
“He can fill in centrally and still make up width and that is a nod to the exceptional tactics of Jurgen Klopp, who knows his two young full-backs will sometimes get overloaded and need a bit of help.
“I was one of those who looked at Henderson and James Milner and wondered if they’d be the two who could hamper the team. Milner has been round the block and has always been a great pro, but I wasn’t sure he’d add another dimension.”
“I was with a lot of Liverpool fans who also wondered if Henderson should even be in the team, let alone be captain. But the pair haven’t just answered the questions about them, they have become intrinsic parts of the team and the dressing-room,” he added.
“Any team that has lots of mercurial characters and youngsters needs a glue to bind it together and those two have done that and then some for Liverpool. And if – if – Liverpool do end up being crowned champions this season there is no doubt that they will have been two of the most important drivers of that.
“Henderson, in particular, given the way he has grown into the captaincy. Finding a new leader after Steven Gerrard was always going to be difficult, but Henderson has stepped up brilliantly.”