Forget Henderson – Why This £15m Liverpool Star With 87% Pass Accuracy Is More Than Capable Of Replacing Him

It could have been the perfect day for Liverpool yesterday with having a win over Manchester City and staying at the top of the table. But then their joy was cut short with the red card that was shown to Jordan Henderson towards the end of the game. It made Liverpool play with ten men for the remaining time and more importantly made it compulsory for manager Brendan Rodgers to start Joe Allen in the next few games with Henderson serving a suspension.

Needless to say, it is a big blow to the team at such a crucial juncture, one that could even have impacts on their title challenge. Henderson has been one of the best performers of the club this season and been a tremendous box to box midfielder, posing attacking threats and also helping the team out in defence when needed.

Joe Allen, on the other hand, has been used very rarely by Rodgers and the Welshman has not been anything spectacular for the club whenever he has been called upon. But it is his chance to live upto the expectations that came along with him last season when he joined the club from Swansea. Let us make a comparative study and try to find out how the absence of Henderson will affect Liverpool.

Joe Allen

First and foremost, it would be unfair to say that Allen was given as much opportunity as Henderson this season but that has mainly been because of the effect that Henderson has had on the team. But statistically it can be shown that Allen has not been too far from Henderson in the limited opportunities that he has got.

Allen and Henderson both have an average pass accuracy of 87%, which is extremely crucial at their role. They are asked to man the midfield and along with Gerrard, who is known for his immaculate passing, it becomes extremely vital for the team if there is another accurate passer. Both have complemented their skipper well so far and distributed the ball around well.

Next up, it is almost as important for them to tackle nicely and reclaim the ball in the midfield due to their withdrawn position. In this aspect it is seen that while Henderson has won 40% of the average duels, Allen is way ahead winning 54% of the average duels that he has committed to. This gives Liverpool the defensive rigidity and the advantage in their own half when Allen plays.

But it must not be forgotten that Jordan Henderson is primarily an attacking player and he has so far created 60 chances for his club, which have been primary in the attacking display of the Merseyside club. Such an attacking outcome should not be expected when Joe Allen is fielded and it will be left to captain Steven Gerrard to be the extra man in the attack to aid the SAS partnership.

So overall we can say that although Liverpool will find it tough to cope up without one of their best midfielders, they have another well to do player in Joe Allen to take up the challenge.

Stats via squawka

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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