Liverpool vice-captain Jordan Henderson has revealed what Brendan Rodgers told him when he was officially made Steven Gerrard’s deputy.
Rodgers once told Henderson that he was free to find himself a new club, but he’s turned his Liverpool form around to become one of the manager’s most important players.
He’s one of the first names down on the team sheet each week and that led to Rodgers handing ‘Hendo’ the responsibility of leading the side when Gerrard isn’t available.
“The manager explained to me that he'd given the vice-captaincy a lot of consideration, but he didn't put any pressure on me. He wants me to crack on and carry on playing the way I have been for Liverpool and hopefully grow and improve again over time,” Henderson told the Liverpool website.
Any notion that Henderson’s performances could be affected by the new title have been rubbished due to his consistency already this season.
What makes him so impressive in the Liverpool midfield is the fact that he’s so versatile.
He can play a number of different roles in a number of different systems and that allows him to stay effective in different situations when Liverpool are on top or staring down the barrel.
It’s also been a smart move by Rodgers because Henderson has the experience of having captained teams before.
Therefore, some of the theory behind Rodgers’ thinking would have been that Henderson would take to the role quickly and easily based on personal experience.
“It gives me a lot of pride. I've done it for England U21s and I've liked it. I've tried to lead by example. That's what I'll try to do here. It's a great honour to be given an important role at a club the size of this, with all its history.”
When Gerrard officially calls it a day, there’s going to be a huge hole in the middle of this Liverpool team but Henderson is one important character and player who can help fill it.