Handing Jordan Henderson a fresh contract is a right move by Liverpool
Liverpool will be overjoyed to have come away with 4 wins from 4 games in the opening weeks of the Premier League. As the players depart for the international friendlies, Liverpool have successfully handed club captain Jordan Henderson a fresh new five-year contract, which will keep him at Anfield until 2023.
Henderson has been an embodiment of leadership and inspiration in this squad and Liverpool have done the right thing by tying down their captain to a new deal. Henderson made the move to Anfield from Sunderland in 2011 and was initially an understudy to Steven Gerrard.
He has since gone on to make 282 Premier League appearances for the club, scoring 25 goals and providing 38 assists. He is Liverpool’s most talented passer of the ball but Henderson is known and often criticised for his crossfield and sideways passing. (Stats Courtesy – Premier League)
The Liverpool captain may lack the tenacity and running power to seamlessly cover the defence, but his passing range makes him an enticing option. It’s hard to find another player in the squad who can distribute the ball like Henderson.
Henderson has so far played out a total of 961 accurate long balls in the league, which is currently the most by any Liverpool player. The likes of James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum and Oxlade-Chamberlain bring their own side to the game but none possess the passing prowess that Henderson does.
Though criticism is often aimed his way due to his lack of work rate in supporting the backline, Jurgen Klopp has now signed a devilish midfielder in the form of Naby Keita. With the former RB Leipzig man backing up the defenders, Henderson can concentrate on picking out Liverpool’s forwards.
Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah all possess the ability to time their runs behind the defenders. With Keita watching the back and Henderson given more freedom up front, the captain can play lob balls over the opposition defenders.
As Liverpool mount a serious title challenge this time out, Henderson will definitely come in handy against teams that like to defend compactly and shut out all the tight spaces. Klopp can use him against such teams and play long balls for the attackers.
Liverpool have shown a serious statement of intent this season after making a number additions in key areas. Klopp seems determined to lift his first Liverpool trophy this season and now that Henderson has cleared out his future, the manager and the captain can focus on the title.