Rodgers praises Dalglish for 'great buy' as former Sunderland man begins to prove his worth
Henderson has had to put up with stinging criticism from pundits, Liverpool fans and even former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who criticised the midfielder’s ‘gait’.
The weight of his £16 million price tag only increased the pressure on his shoulders, and it gas taken Henderson a long time to begin to fulfil the potential spotted by Dalglish.
But having started all 16 of Liverpool’s Premier League matches this season, Henderson displayed the immense progress has had made over the last two years, and the 23-year-old’s display against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday was easily his best ever in the red shirt.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was quick to praise the former Sunderland man – but he also knows who must take the credit: “It was a great buy by Kenny,” said Rodgers. “Jordan didn’t set the fee, for which he’s taken a lot of criticism, but he’s 23, he’s six foot one, he can run all day and technically he’s very strong. Tactically, his understanding of when to press and when to stay is getting better all the time.”
It is tempting to wonder who will be feeling the greater satisfaction at Henderson’s progress: Henderson, Rodgers or Dalglish? Certainly, the latter can claim a measure of vindication at splashing out £16m on what was essentially unproven potential.
Dalglish’s ill-fated and lavish purchases of Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll were a factor in his eventual dismissal, but Henderson may prove to be a different story.
Can he become as good as Steven Gerrard? Henderson is striving to achieve just that, although currently he is a long way from the class of the Liverpool captain. But if continues to improve at his current rate Henderson can blossom into an exceptional player.