Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson looks set for a little spell on the sidelines after picking up an injury following Kevin Nolan’s challenge on him in the Reds 4-1 win over West Ham United on Saturday.
Henderson of course wasn’t the only casualty with Steven Gerrard suffering a hamstring injury during the game, but it now means Liverpool are looking a little short on central midfield players going into the Christmas break.
Whilst people will look at Gerrard as a massive loss, the loss of Henderson to the Liverpool side during this period can not be underestimated by anyone – if his injury keeps him out for a sustained period of time. No timescale has yet to be put on the 23-year-old’s recovery but he is reported to have left a Liverpool hospital wearing a plastic boot.
For sure, he had his critics at Anfield in his first season, and for some of last season as he struggled for consistency in his performances.
This season, however, he has been one of Liverpool’s best performers. A lot of people have commented on this versatility, a massive asset as he has been played across the whole of the middle of the park – and managed to fill in in a wing-back role on occasions – and has also played in more advanced positions.
But others will have to take on the role of pressing the opposition in Henderson’s absence, it will perhaps be a shared responsibility considering that he has energy levels and abundance and keeps running from the first minute to the last.
It’s Henderson’s pressing that can allow Liverpool to get on the front foot, to get an early foothold in the game and gives the Reds some control in the game. Opposition seldom like facing a player like Henderson who will keep working away at them, and force mistakes under pressure.
Though, it would be doing him a great injustice that he has improved technically as a player, his ability to thread a pass has developed significantly and will to beat a man.
All are qualities which are hard to replace in a starting line-up, and the team as a whole is going to have to share that responsibility if he is to miss out on the trip to Tottenham and beyond.