It wasn’t long ago the suggestion Jordan Henderson should be a regular starter for England would have been met by dubious looks from most national team supporters. Now, though, just as he has with Liverpool, the 24-year-old midfielder has locked down a place as one of the first names on the teamsheet for an England side running away with their Euro 2016 qualifying group.
Henderson, though, isn’t taking his position in the national team for granted, and along with targeting a new club contract, he wants to match his improved club output this season by scoring a few more goals for England in the coming months. And a friendly on Tuesday against an Italy side that looked shaky at the back on the way to a 2-2 draw with Bulgaria over the weekend could be the chance to do just that.
"At the club level I’ve been doing the same things that I’ve always been doing for the team," said Henderson, speaking to reporters at the England camp. "Obviously when one or two fly in, your confidence is high. That’s been a real turning point, and once you get one they do tend to come, so hopefully I can do that for England—hopefully once I can score one I can carry on and maybe get a few more.
"We have to take more responsibility in midfield in that sense. We can’t always rely on the strikers to score all the goals—we have to chip in now and then. But at the same time, I’m not going to get too caught up in that—I just want to do what’s best for the team. In the end, the most important thing is winning games."
With Raheem Sterling in the midst of ongoing treatment for a minor toe injury and set to miss the match while Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana never left Liverpool in the first place, Henderson will be the Reds’ only player involved on Tuesday. England will also be missing Danny Welbeck, James Milner, and Leighton Baines when they face Italy.
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