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Jordan Henderson – Liverpool’s Man For The Future

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 Jordan Henderson
Jordan Henderson

Liverpool have had a superb season to date, they are just four points off the top spot, while more importantly they are six points clear of Tottenham who are below them. It looks extremely likely that Liverpool will be playing Champions League football again next season, which is a superb achievement given their prolonged absence from the competition. Brendan Rodgers has brought an exciting style of play to Anfield and it’s his management that has led to the side’s domestic form.

Before the former Swansea manager came to Liverpool, Jordan Henderson struggled to assert himself on the team, but now the Englishman is a key part of the side going forward with his engine perfect for the pressing game that Rodgers has created at Anfield.

Many have praised the attacking talents that Liverpool have, with Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez being singled out as the key reason the club are performing as well as they, but Henderson has been a consistent performer in the engine room.

He has started all 27 league games this season, scoring three times and getting six assists. He has created 49 chances, despite that not being his main role in the side. Liverpool look towards Raheem Sterling, Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho and Suarez for creativity, while Henderson is expected to be a box to box midfielder who gets forward to support the strikers. He also does his fair share of defensive work with a 73.33% success rate from 60 tackles.

The midfielder was heavily criticised after moving to Liverpool and somewhat unfairly his name was mentioned alongside Andy Carroll, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing, all of whom were called flops. Henderson has shown himself to be worth his transfer fee, unlike the other three. He may have taken his time to adapt at Anfield, but he is still only 23 years old, so he has plenty more to give to his club and he has the potential to become a club legend if he continues playing the way he is.

He has become a mainstay in the Liverpool line up alongside Steven Gerrard which has been great for his development. He is assured of his place of team, which will give him the confidence to play his natural game, something that he couldn’t do when he first came to Anfield as he was in and out of the side. Also Gerrard will be having a great effect on Henderson as he can pass on his experience to the 23-year-old. Moreover, Rodgers is one of the best English coaches so he will be having a positive effect on Henderson’s development. The midfielder has come on a lot since Rodgers became Liverpool manager in the summer of 2012.

The World Cup is fast approaching and Henderson will surely be in Roy Hodgson’s thoughts. He traveled to the Euro 2012 after being originally named as a standby player and he played twice, replacing Scott Parker on both occasions. That experience at a tournament may play in Henderson’s favour when the final 23 are announced, as Hodgson will want players he knows are used to the tournament environment.

He is certainly one of England’s best central midfielders on current form, while Hodgson may want to continue his partnership with Gerrard on the international stage. First though, Henderson will be focused on Liverpool, ensuring they clinch a Champions League spot and maybe, just maybe, win the league.

Stats via squawka

Watch Jordan Henderson’s best moments from the first half of the season.

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