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Aldridge: “Henderson has to Start”

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Liverpool captain must start against Everton according to Reds’ legend.

Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Having been out with a foot injury for a little more than a month now, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has returned to full training this week and is hoping to be involved in some capacity against Everton on Saturday. Many, though, think that his long-term absence will mean a bench role.

There’s also the fact that Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum both put in top performances against Manchester City in the last match, and moving one of them to the bench for a rusty Henderson could be a harsh—or maybe even foolish—move. John Aldridge, though, says it’s a move that has to happen.

“If Jordan Henderson is fit, he starts on Saturday,” said Aldridge. “That might sound harsh to whoever has to miss out, be it Emre Can or Gini Wijnaldum, but the captain needs to be playing in a game like this. Hopefully he’ll get some good training in this week and be ready to go at the weekend.

“I think we’ve seen how important he is to the side, and I think his experience and leadership will be valuable for a game like this. He was brilliant at Goodison earlier in the season, keeping his cool and leading by example as we chased that win. I hope we see him on Saturday.”

Liverpool’s performance, though, improved in March following a terrible start to 2017, with victories over Burnley and Arsenal to go along with their hard-fought draw with Manchester City, and it’s a run of games that has seen Can’s form improve while Wijnaldum has looked increasingly confident.

As important as Henderson’s loss seemed when Liverpool were being beaten by Leicester City without him, with Can and Wijnaldum both in form, putting Henderson straight into the starting eleven could be risky—and whichever way Klopp goes, if it doesn’t work, there will probably be criticism.