Jordan Brian Henderson is about as consummate a professional and captain as you could find in this day and age. So when the man from Sunderland was asked about two players who stepped in from reserve roles to contribute, he was eager to heap praise on Adam Lallana and Alexander Oxlade-Chamberlain.
”I’m buzzing for both of them and I’m sure there is so much more to come as this season develops,” said the Liverpool skipper.
Henderson and Lallana have long been fast friends, bezzies even, despite Lallana’s questionable hairstyle and fashion choices. So when Lallana replaced him in the 71st minute against Manchester United, Henderson felt confident his friend would contribute.
“It’s no secret how close Adam and I are - as are our families. It wasn’t just the goal that lit up Manchester for us, it was his entire performance.”
While those of us on the outside haven’t seen much from Lallana the past couple of seasons, and have at times been confused by Klopp’s steady belief in the player, Liverpool’s skipper said he and the rest of the squad have faith in the player.
”The truth is we’ve seen that quality day in and day out at Melwood for a very long time,” said Henderson of Lallana, the leading purveyor of Cruyff turns.
”Those of us who’ve seen Adam over the past 18 months specifically know he’s been fit, available and contributing through the quality he brings to our squad every day in training.
As for the contributions of Oxlade-Chamberlain Henderson was just as in awe as the rest of us when Ox’s second goal hit the back of the net against Genk in the Champions League match.
”I was warming up on the touchline when he scored it and after I picked my jaw off the floor, I couldn’t do anything but clap. That’s such a difficult technique to pull off, but it is typical Ox.”
Typical Ox indeed. The dynamic midfielder has had a penchant for scoring some stunning goals from outside the box. Henderson, however, went on to laud more than just the goal contributions from the boisterous midfielder.
”Those goals will give him a big boost I’m sure, not that he really needed it though,” exclaimed Henderson. “He’s a massive personality and someone whose quality is going to be so valuable.”
With Ox, Lallana, and Naby Keita all finally healthy and rounding into form, Klopp is going to have some good line up conundrums to contend with. The steady midfield trio of Fabinho, Henderson, and Georginio Wijnaldum have logged a lot of minutes thus far, and while they have performed well as a unit, they haven’t always shown a creative spark, especially against more compact defensive shapes. The introduction of one or more of Lallan, Ox, and Keita could provide some added dynamism that could free up Liverpool’s vaunted front three.