Sir Alex Ferguson explains why he refused to sign Jordan Henderson

Sir Alex Ferguson has explained why Manchester United chose not to sign Jordan Henderson from Sunderland in 2011, leaving the midfielder to join Liverpool in a £ 20million deal.

United have been linked with Henderson after his first two Premier League seasons, where he was twice named Black Cats Young Player of the Year.

Jordan henderson
Henderson has been central to Liverpool’s success over the past two seasons | Matthias Hangst / Getty Images

However, the Red Devils chose not to sign the Sunderland academy product, with Ferguson explaining in his autobiography that Henderson’s running style was a cause for concern as it could have led to injury issues later.

After a slow start to life at Anfield, Henderson has proven his skeptics wrong by becoming one of the elite’s most influential midfielders, commanding Liverpool in the Champions League and Premier League under Jurgen Klopp.

Speaking on the “A Team Talk With Legends” panel (as quoted by the Mirror) on Friday, Ferguson revealed that United were ready to make an offer for the Sunderland man, but the Red Devils medical team’s advice ultimately prevented them from doing so.

“Brendan Rodgers criticized my assessment of Jordan,” Ferguson said.

“The real story was that we were ready to make an offer for him in Sunderland. I spoke to Steve Bruce and he loved the guy. Our screening / medical department said they weren’t happy with his running style. They said he might be punching it to hurt you.

“I have to say it was one of my management tasks to make sure the player was always available. If you sign a player and they are not available for you, it’s a waste of time, so that’s what I have to make the case. Jordan.

Alex ferguson
Ferguson admitted United were about to make an offer for Henderson | Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

“But we loved Jordan as a player. He’s proven it now. All the stories I hear about him tell me that I missed a really good person. ”