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Klopp Talk: Jordan Henderson a “Proper Leader”

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The manager is impressed with the captain’s World Cup performance.

England Media Access - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images

After being somewhat underwhelming in the first half of what is now last season, there’s no question that Jordan Henderson has really turned it on in 2018. He was a crucial part of the Liverpool side that got to the Champions League final, answering some of his doubters with his excellent water carrying work.

And now he’s doing the same thing for his country, performing a vital role in England’s World Cup campaign that has seen them reach the semi finals. Playing at the base of a midfield three, his energy has been very important in covering for Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard as they make runs into the box. As you’d expect, this has seen him again earn the plaudits of a certain Jürgen Klopp.

“Yes, England are there so that’s a good result”, Klopp told The Express after Saturday’s friendly against Chester. “I obviously didn’t see the match unfortunately [due to Liverpool’s friendly taking place at the same time] but so far Jordan has played a brilliant World Cup”.

Talking a bit more about what the Liverpool captain brings to England, Klopp explained that Henderson has “been very mature, a proper leader in the team. You can see it. Everybody can see that this England team is offensively very skilled. And you need a few serious persons in the team to keep it all together. I like how he’s doing that. He’s still involved in all the offensive things, set-pieces and all that stuff.

“He’s also made a few wonderful passes. He controls the game and I really like that”.

Not unlike the relationship he has with Liverpool supporters, Henderson has often been a target of criticism for England fans. In the World Cup qualifiers, when he was generally playing in a double pivot alongside Eric Dier, Henderson was often seen to be too slow in playing the ball forward. England manager Gareth Southgate’s system change has suited the midfielder perfectly, however, as he is now playing in a role much more similar to what he does at Liverpool.

Jordan Henderson is good, and the whole world can see it.