Transfer season has had a healthy prologue at Liverpool this year, with plenty of discussion about the contracts of a number of high profile squad members. More than any season in recent memory, contracts have been front and center, with some sort of news or update on what seems like a weekly basis. For most the hope is that the club will find a way to extend existing deals, as a number of younger players in the squad have found themselves with deals in need of renewal.
Having done just that himself, Jordan Henderson's focus is now on trying to ensure that Raheem Sterling follows suit. The vice-captain has been a vocal supporter of the 20-year-old throughout their time together, defending him from criticism after England's latest in a long line World Cup failures and hailing his ability as one of the best young players in Europe.
His tone was no different on Thursday, when he emphasized his hopes that Sterling would join him to committing long-term at Liverpool:
"I've known Raheem for a good few years now. He is a good friend of mine and my team-mate. He has just got to do whatever he thinks is best but, if I was giving him advice, of course I would say: ‘This is Liverpool'. I think this is the best place for him. But at the end of the day that decision is up to him. He is a fantastic player for us.
"I hope he stays here and develops with us. He will be a big part of what we are looking to do. Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho have committed as well. They have made a statement because they are two top players. If we can get a few more done before the end of the season, I really believe we have got a chance of doing something special."
That spine rests on two significant unknowns in the future of Sterling and the fitness of Sturridge, but it's hard not to get excited about the potential that's there. Combined with the likes of Emre Can, Lazar Markovic, Jordon Ibe, Mamadou Sakho, and Alberto Moreno, that's a fantastic foundation from which to build, and one that, if kept together, should be competing for silverware if their development continues. Factor in additions in the transfer market--smart, timely ones, especially this coming summer--and there's more than a few reasons to believe Henderson's assertions that something special is possible.