How Jürgen Klopp has transferred Jordan Henderson from a doubter to a believer


The 26-year-old midfielder looks fitter, confident and more assured. He is now living up to the potential Liverpool saw, when he arrived from Sunderland in 2011, writes Sam May.

Many fans raised eyebrows when the Reds forked out a staggering £20 million for the now Liverpool captain, a substantial fee at the time. He failed to show fans that he was top of the game, a game changer, a leader and a trophy clincher, however this has all changed.

The Reds were left with a void when club legend and captain fantastic, left for the USA. Henderson at vice-captain was the natural choice but not one the fans could believe would fill his boots. A natural leader they wanted. A match winner and somebody who could change games they wanted, and replacing skipper Gerrard was always going to be a tough ask. Henderson wasn’t ready.

When Klopp first arrived at Anfield, he sung the praises of captain Henderson and since then, the midfielder has been a different player, and is now thriving in the No.6 role.

Improving on his fitness after England exited the Euros early on, he now looks calmer, more assured and the right man to lead the club going forward. Klopp would have preferred to have fellow German Emre Can in that position, but the fact Henderson has been a revolution has meant Can has had to settle for a place on the bench.

His 30-yard world-class finish against Chelsea capped off what he is capable of doing. He is more mature and authoritive and the captaincy has proved to have had a positive effect on him. There is no question now he is the new leader and helping to take Liverpool to the next level. With Liverpool flying high, second in the table and clearly having the advantage of no European sideshow to distract there Premier League push, who knows, he could well be lifting the one trophy that eluded captain fantastic.

If the miracle happened, it would propel Henderson to superstar captain status.


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