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Rodgers: Henderson's Versatility Key to World Cup Aspirations

Having not been able to break into the English national set-up since Euro 2012, Jordan Henderson's recent call-up has Brendan Rodgers speaking glowingly about what the midfielder has to offer the Three Lions.

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The face of English heroism and bravery.
The face of English heroism and bravery.
Scott Heavey

Aside from having the full and undivided support of every last member of the writing staff here at The Liverpool Offside, Jordan Henderson has been enjoying the full and undivided backing of his manager as well. One of these things might be more likely than the other to actually help his career — we'll leave you to figure out which on your own — but Brendan Rodgers is certainly excited for Henderson's recent call-up to the English national team.

"It's great for the boy and it's merited from the start he's had to the season - he has been outstanding," Rodgers said. "It's a big credit to him that I've been able to play him in a couple of positions. He's that type of player; he can play in those positions really well.

"If you're going to a World Cup, you're going to need players that can play in a number of positions well. He can do that, he's shown already this season in a wing-back role and central midfield role how versatile he is."

During the last international break, Henderson was passed over as an emergency call-up despite offering far more flexibility to fill England's positional gaps than Roy Hodgson's eventual choice of Hendo's teammate Raheem Sterling. The omission does not seem to be lost on Rodgers as he none too subtly greases the wheels for Henderson to be included in Hodgson's final squad for Brazil.

Henderson will first have to provide a good showing against both Chile and Germany, both of which, like England, have already qualified for the World Cup. The matches might be meaningless friendlies for fans, but for a player trying to stake a claim on a place in the side next June, it's a chance for Henderson to impress the gaffer the way he does regularly on Merseyside.

"He always adds something to it," Rodgers continued. "He's got a tremendous work-rate. You really sense the supporters taking to him now, appreciating what he's giving to the shirt.

"As each game goes on, he's getting better and better. Tactically he has improved, physically he's very good - his agility and mobility is excellent. He's gaining confidence from playing with good players as well. He'll make a lot of improvements over the next couple of years and can become a really top player."

The question of whether or not Henderson has it in him to occupy the upper echelons of footbally greatness by becoming a top, top player is, of course, too soon to answer, but until then we'll do our best around these parts to ensure he keeps getting selected to the national team.

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