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Official: Henderson Signs Five-Year Deal

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Liverpool's versatile midfielder Jordan Henderson has today signed an improved deal that keeps the club's presumptive next captain at Anfield through 2020.

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Negotiations may have dragged out for longer than many would have liked, but following news earlier in the week that Jordan Henderson was on the verge of signing a new deal to keep him at Liverpool for the long haul, the club have officially announced its signing today. The new contract will run through 2020 and see Liverpool’s next captain earn £100k per week.

"I’m over the moon it’s finally done," said the player. "There has been talk about it for a while now. It’s brilliant news for me to commit my future to this football club—I really feel that it’s a good time for us to look forward to the future, with the squad we’ve got, the manager, the size of the club and the fans we’ve got. I really think, over the next few years, we can challenge and start winning trophies."

Henderson has been a mainstay for Liverpool this season, making 48 appearances across all competitions and scoring seven goals and 14 assists along the way. Along with his leadership, work-rate, and ability to improve the club at any midfield position, that has meant providing a goal or assist for the club every 200 minutes he’s on the pitch, a return that helps to justify an improved deal.

The Premier League has increasingly seen midfield specialisation split defending and attacking duties and make box-to-box players like Henderson a rarity. Yet his numbers remain respectable set next to some of his more attack-minded counterparts like Ander Herrera, who has a goal or assist every 140 minutes for Manchester United after signing for £36M deal last summer, or Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas, who gets one every 130 minutes.

Meanwhile, Chelsea and United’s more defence-minded midfielders only manage a goal or assist every 500 minutes or worse, and Manchester City’s box-to-box master Yaya Toure has one every 260 minutes this season. Miralem Pjanic and Arturo Vidal, two versatile midfielders Liverpool have been linked to over the past year, get one every 240 minutes and every 270 minutes, respectively.

"Jordan is a brilliant professional, and his dedication to his career and football in general makes him a role model to all the young players," said manager Brendan Rodgers. "The fact he has made such a long-term commitment to Liverpool is a sign of his belief in what we are looking to do here. He will have a crucial role to play as we look to take this side forward and look to add success to the progress we’ve made."

With Henderson’s new deal out of the way, contract extensions for Martin Skrtel and Jordon Ibe are also expected to arrive over the next few days.