Jordan Henderson has been such an important part of Liverpool’s midfield over the last decade.
The current Liverpool captain has often been much-maligned during his time at the club.
There’s nothing fancy to Henderson’s game — he keeps things nice and simple.
But the appreciation for the English midfielder within Liverpool is massive.
And this was reflected very recently when Thiago Alcântara lavished Henderson with praise in a 36-minute documentary co-produced by Liverpool and Nike.
“He’s one of the best players, midfield players I’ve ever played with in my life,” said Thiago of Henderson. “I’m proud to be a part of his team and happy to play alongside him.”
Asked what Henderson brings to the table, Thiago said:
“I think Jordan has great character that teaches us that nothing is guaranteed, that we have to fight for everything and have to give our best as possible.
“He’s a player that from the moment you arrive, he helps you get settled, helps you feel at home. And then on the pitch, he helps you stay alert and concentrated on the game.”
When one considers the calibre of player Thiago has played alongside during his spells with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, not to mention playing for the Spanish national side, his praise for Henderson is very high indeed.
Thiago’s praise echoes what Jürgen Klopp has repeatedly said of the 32-year-old down the years, with Klopp saying last November:
“Hendo is essential to all the things we’ve achieved in the last three years. He had no point to prove.
“If anybody thinks he didn’t play good last season [2020-21] or whatever, he was injured in the last part of the season and was very unlucky before that. He helped us in three different positions pretty much which was very tough.
“We need players like him, and especially him, at the club in the long term because of these boys.
“The qualities of them, the mindset of them, the attitude of them, they set standards for all the rest.”
Since Gini Wijnaldum left the club a year ago, there’s been constant speculation that the club would sign a new midfielder.
And that Henderson would be the eventual one to be relegated to the bench in order to make room for the new recruit, with Thiago and Fabinho pretty much guaranteed starting positions when fit.
Yet question marks have been asked of Henderson before.
There was scrutiny surrounding his place in the team and his future at the beginning of the 2019-20 season.
And Henderson answered those critics by winning the Football Writers Association’s Player of the Year award.
That is just one example of many where the Liverpool captain has bounced back.
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