Mignolet: Midfielder showed signs of being a great player at a young age

Simon Mignolet says he, along with others at Sunderland, spotted the potential in Jordan Henderson.

Jordan Henderson has improved a great deal since he signed for Liverpool in the summer of 2011. He was a bit of a maligned figure at Anfield in his first season as the £16m signing from Sunderland struggled at times to impress, and raising question marks as to whether he was up to scratch, and indeed whether he was worth the money the Reds splashed out on him to take him to Anfield.

This season in particular Henderson has kicked on. Having shown versatility all across the middle of the park as well as filling in in wing-back role when asked by manager Brendan Rodgers, people have been queuing up to praise him.

The queue got even bigger when Steven Gerrard’s injury meant Henderson had to step up and take more responsibility – with performances against Tottenham and Cardiff City in particular showcasing his qualities, and he proved a handful in the midfield for both Manchester City and Chelsea over the festive period.

However, a teammate of his from Sunderland who now stands between the sticks for Liverpool said told the club’s official website that everyone at the Black Cats expected the now 23-year-old to come good at Anfield.

Simon Mignolet told the Liverpool website: ‘I remember when I was at Sunderland with him; he was still very young at that time, but everybody saw a very good player in him and everybody saw what he was going to do in the future.

‘He has matured and is getting a bit older now. You can see how good a player he is, he works really hard and the energy he gives the whole team is something to be very pleased with.’

So much so that people will think he is one of England’s in-form midfielders going in a World Cup year as well as becoming a more integral part of Liverpool’s side. His passing range has improved, as his awareness and as his manager would say ‘tactically, he’s very good.’ And that’s all before mentioning the energy he brings to the side.

Now, Liverpool fans may think he could get even better.

image: © kong niffe

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch