Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson is good enough to be a long term replacement for Steven Gerrard.
Steven Gerrard can’t go on forever, despite what the Liverpool doctors have said, which means the club need to find a long term replacement who can play that driving and attacking role in the midfield.
Jordan Henderson could be that man and based on current form, he’s playing like Steven Gerrard did his earlier days which is bound to be winning him thousands of admirers from Liverpool supporters groups everywhere.
The goal he scored against Aston Villa over the weekend was almost a classic Gerrard style goal; breaking from the midfield into space with superb pace, before a delicate and clever little finish over the onrushing goalkeeper.
It was like a quick look back to the past when Gerrard was the only midfield player in the team who would sprint on fumes to get into the box or onto the end of a ball to give himself a chance of grabbing a goal.
Brendan Rodgers recently spoke about the reliability that Henderson currently offers to his team and the midfield, which is significant because the skipper has been one of the most reliable players the team has had, ever since he broke into the side years ago.
That reliability is important because it’s one of the things that the club is going to miss more than anything else when Gerrard eventually retires in a few years.
Henderson’s all round game is improving to the point where he could almost become a complete midfield player within the next couple of years, meaning he would head into his mid to late 20s as a very solid and consistent player.
Defensively his game does need to improve because he can be very naïve at times but there are already elements of Gerrard in that side of his game; his will, his determination, his pace, his passion and his willingness to put himself on the line to prevent a goal.
In terms of attacking play he’s already very good but he can improve in terms of his range of passing and the various attacking roles that he can play in the team, significant because Gerrard has been used as a number ten by the club at times.
The fact Henderson has been able to get back into the side this season, fight and produce the consistency to keep him there will do his confidence the world of good.
In another dimension, he could easily have left Liverpool and moved on after Rodgers seemed reluctant to use him through the early part of the season but he’s making himself indispensible to the team at the moment.
He’s learning all the time from the great man himself, which is significant because that’s only going to improve his game to an even higher level. There will be a gradual transition as Gerrard plays fewer and fewer games because of age but Liverpool are blessed with a solid long term replacement for one of their greatest ever players.
Is Henderson good enough to replace Gerrard?