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Not many of the Liverpool fans want to see the player in the team and wishes that he was never named as the one to take over Steven Gerrard as the captain, in contrast to the excitement and jubilation one has for realmoneycraps.
The 27-year-old joined Liverpool from Sunderland for fee of around 16 million Pounds (a fee that people believe was too much for him even in today’s market) in the summer of 2011. Who would have thought that the then 20-year-old midfielder would go on to become the heir to Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool armband.
He had a very slow start to his career at Anfield and even talks of selling the player had emerged at one point. In 2012, just a year after joining the club, he was about to be sold to Fulham but the player rejected the offer. Henderson was adamant and believed that Liverpool was the best place to take forward his development as a player.
The man from Sunderland had several ups and downs in the first couple of seasons at his new club, but 2013-14 was a game changer.
The year that Luis Suarez scored 31 goals to become the joint record holder for the most number goals scored in a single Premier League season, the same season in which Liverpool came so close to the Premier League title but Gerrard ‘slipped’.
The Kopites were well aware that Gerrard won’t be at the club for much long and they needed a heir for their legend. Daniel Agger was the team’s vice-captain that time, but due to constant injuries the Dutch soon left for his hometown club Brondby at the end of that season.
And hence the need for a new leader seemed more urgent. And that is when the fans remembered about that one moment in the 2013-14 season, when Henderson screamed at Gerrard.
I don’t exactly which game it was or for what the player shrieked at Mr. Liverpool, but that moment gained the attention of almost all Liverpool fans. Soon, Henderson was named as the team’s vice-captain and slowly it seemed that he was turning ‘doubters into believers’ like Klopp says.
Even though he was just 24-years-old at that time, he showed a lot of maturity in his game and also as a teamleader. But, then he hit a roadblock.
As he was slowly starting to put in consistent performances week in week out, he was sidelined with a heel injury. That injury saw him being sidelined for a long time. Even though he recovered from the injury, it was said that he will have to play with that pain throughout his career.
Henderson, who is said to ‘cover the 70% of the Earth (while the rest is covered by water)’, having to play with a pain in his heel was never a good news for the club nor the player himself.
Since then, he was never able to get back his full momentum. Even though he gave some memories like the belter he scored against Chelsea last season, he was slowly turning back into the average player he used to be in people’s eyes.
And that never changed. He was never able to. When talking about what Liverpool needs to add to their team currently, many fans tend to say without much thought – “a new captain”.
Henderson might be not be a world class midfielder, but he is a player who decided to stay at the club despite being almost forced to move away at age of 21.
He is the same player who proved his doubters wrong and proudly took the armband from Stevie G. If he could do that, I believe that it is possible for him to put his setback behind and prove the world wrong again.
He had his best season after Alex Ferguson had a go at him for his style of running. If he could make SAF’s comments look silly, why not he do the same with the critics?
No matter what happens, he still is Liverpool’s captain and he should be backed when he leads the team to the pitch with his head high, like it is said in the You’ll Never Walk Alone song,
O, Hendo! Get Up. Press. Run. Fight!
Written by Dakir Thanveer
Follow Dakir on Twitter @ZakWriter
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