Why Liverpool midfielder faces the biggest three months of his career

Liverpool FC - Seeing Is Believing - Jordan Henderson

Henderson has shone for the Reds this season, but faces a far harder task with England

Jordan Henderson has proved plenty of doubters wrong in the red shirt of Liverpool this season, but his hard work for England is only just beginning.

Henderson’s versatility on the pitch is well-documented: he played in central midfield for England against Germany this week, and has also played at both right midfield and right wing-back in the opening months of Liverpool’s campaign.

Henderson is displaying a new confidence, and has played in every Premier League game for the Reds this season. His call-up by England boss Roy Hodgson for England’s friendly matches was no surprise, and Henderson emerged having done his World Cup chances no harm at all.

“I really enjoyed being back around the squad,” said Henderson after England’s 1-0 defeat to Germany at Wembley. “Getting to know all the lads and getting some football as well was pleasing.

“It was obviously a disappointing result against Germany but for me personally it was nice to get out and have a taste of international football again.

“I just have to learn from the experience and hopefully kick on at my club. If I do that then hopefully come the game against Denmark in March I'll be back in the squad again. The key for me is doing well for Liverpool. That starts with a big game against Everton on Saturday.”

For Henderson, the hard work begins now. An ever-present for his club so far this season, the former Sunderland man knows he needs to continue to make himself indispensible if he is to play a major part – or even be selected – for next summer’s World Cup.

Liverpool must play 17 league matches before England’s next friendly, against Denmark on March 5. The first of those comes against Everton at GoodisonPark on Sunday, a match which the all-action midfielder should thrive in.

In an England sense, he remains very much a squad player. While he can play a variety of positions, Hodgson knows his squad is well-stocked in almost all of those areas. Andros Townsend has emerged as a dangerous weapon on the right of midfield, and there is still Theo Walcott to make his return from injury.

In central midfield, Henderson is competing with the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jack Wilshere, Michael Carrick and Frank Lampard. Versatility is a useful trait, but until Henderson emerges as the best in any one position, his impact for his country will remain limited. The next three months will have a major bearing on his future.

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