Those who didn't see the England U21s take on Northern Ireland on Tuesday missed a classy, at times even dominating performance from Liverpool's Jordan Henderson. Wearing the captain's armband, Henderson gave the sort of performance that makes both his frequent omission from the Liverpool squad as well as his often halting and hesitant play when he is given the chance nearly impossible to understand.
A brilliant passing move ten minutes into the match signalled a strong start to his day, one that saw Henderson at the middle of almost everything good for England as they pressed Northern Ireland high up the pitch with and without the ball and employed an uptempo passing game worlds away from what one would usually expect to see from a side managed by Stuart Pearce. And much of that is thanks to Henderson, who has grown increasingly important as the fulcrum in the English U21 midfield.
It might have been a lower level of competition than he would face most weeks in the Premier League, but the Jordan Hederson who was on display against Northern Ireland nevertheless looked a player more than capable of making a difference at club level—and of perhaps taking a bit of the pressure off Joe Allen, whose performances have dipped noticeably in recent weeks.
Whether he's given that chance is of course another question entirely, but it's hardly a stretch to say that the type of game he had against Northern Ireland on Tuesday is why Liverpool bought him in the first place. Hopefully in the coming months he's both willing and able—and, perhaps most importantly, given—the chance to develop into that same player for Liverpool.