Welcome to World Class: Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson suffered the glow to end all the glimmers. It’s really Hollywood, a teenage girl with braces at prom queen level stuff.

Henderson has grown from Mackem’s slightly skinny midfielder who has been laughed at for everything from his price to his running style to an irreplaceable member of one of the best teams in Premier League history.

The Liverpool 2019/20 squad were absolutely unstoppable, leaving everyone behind as they headed for their first high-flying title in 30 years. The Reds broke or equaled no less than eight Premier League records on their way to being crowned champions of England, and the beating heart of that team was the man who eight years earlier had been close to being sold to Fulham.

Henderson is a product of the Sunderland academy, joining his childhood club at the age of eight before making his senior debut a decade later. After a short loan spell at Coventry (Henderson is the only one of our Welcome to World Class contenders to have had a loan with the Sky Blues), he broke into the Black Cats first team at the start of the 2009 campaign / 10.

After just two full seasons of Premier League football, Liverpool were persuaded to dip into their pockets to bring Henderson to Merseyside.

The Reds have spent £ 16million on the 21-year-old – the most the club have ever spent on a player his age. However, the first season at Anfield was a disappointment for the newcomer, and he quickly became a scapegoat for the club’s stagnation. His first season ended with the replacement of Kenny Dalglish by Brendan Rodgers.

Jordan henderson
Young Jordan Henderson’s first press conference in Liverpool | Clint Hughes / Getty Images

That summer Rodgers informed Henderson that he could leave Liverpool for Fulham, with Clint Dempsey moving in the opposite direction.

“Brendan called me and said, ‘Look, this is the offer’ and he asked me what I was thinking. It implied that he would let me go and it was mine. I returned to my room. a few tears. I ended up crying a bit because it hurt so much. “

Jordan henderson

The former Sunderland man chose to stay, fight for his place and prove the skeptics wrong. He has not stopped fighting, grafting and proving the skeptics wrong ever since.

Henderson was an integral part of Liverpool’s Rodgers squad who embarked on an unlikely title challenge in the 2013/14 campaign, but missed the last three games due to suspension. His dynamic energy was a huge dud in the Reds midfield, and Rodgers’ side continued to choke on and miss the title.

The club captain came the following summer, as did the inevitable comparisons with his predecessor Steven Gerrard and other skeptics to be wrong.

Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield in 2015 and Henderson has finally established himself as the German’s premier midfielder. But Klopp was leading a ruthless rebuilding project at Anfield with the aim of turning Liverpool into a world-class team. Fabinho was signed in the summer of 2018 and Henderson could have been phased out.

“Is Hendo the perfect football player? No. Do I know anyone who is? No. But is it incredibly important to us? Yes.”

Jurgen klopp

In the 2018/19 season he was still fighting for his place and had to prove his worth.

But he returned to a more advanced midfielder role, thrived and captained Liverpool for the 2018/19 Champions League crown and the 2019/20 Premier League title.

Jordan henderson
Henderson played from injury in Champions League semi-finals en route for Liverpool captain to European glory | Soccrates Images / Getty Images

Liverpool have started the 2019/20 season at a fairly steady pace, only tasting defeat in their 28th Premier League game of the season. The Reds suffered a 3-0 loss to Watford, appearing disorganized, vulnerable and lethargic. It was just the third league game Henderson had missed all season, emphasizing the importance of his leadership skills; Liverpool had looked chaotic in his absence.

Henderson’s dynamic and energetic style of play means he’s a perfect fit for Klopp’s high-intensity Liverpool side. His work, his pace of work and his willingness to do a shift for the team are vital.

Even in Liverpool’s 7-0 victory over Crystal Palace in December 2020 – where the Reds’ front line should have stolen all the applause after starting a riot and displaying ruthless ruthlessness – it was Henderson who was chosen for them. praise because of his intelligence and willingness to sacrifice himself for the good of the team.

He has the courage to sit down and cover Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, giving full-backs the freedom to walk forward, which is so crucial to the way Liverpool play.

“He doesn’t care about being in the spotlight, he’s happy to go under the radar and do his job. And he does everything for the team rather than for himself. ”

Trent Alexander-Arnold

But despite all his pace of work and athleticism, there is also an authentic and exceptional technical ability. His passing range is exceptional, and this is coupled with real football intelligence. He knows when to keep it short, crisp, and simple, and he knows when to step diagonally out of the crossfield and unleash a quick Reds counterattack. And he can’t half-hit a ball when he wants to.

Henderson’s success is a story of determination, patience and endurance. He was the man charged with the seemingly impossible task of replacing the irreplaceable Steven Gerrard. He continued to forge equally daunting shoes to fill.

Liverpool’s 2019/20 title-winning team is one of the most complete teams to ever honor the top flight. Without Henderson, they would have been made incomplete.