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Henderson Opens Up About Chat Leading to Position Change

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The captain discussed his conversation with boss Jurgen Klopp, and returning to a more attacking midfield position.

Liverpool FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

A great deal of (digital) ink has been spilled on Jordan Henderson’s new role within the Liverpool midfield.

Well, prepare for more.

The Liverpool captain, fresh off of international duty with England, where he apparently (I certainly can’t be arsed to check) played a more attacking role. And today, he spoke to the club’s official website about that chat.

“Me and the gaffer just had a conversation,” Hendo explained. “I can do both positions and he sees I can do both. It’s basically what he wants and needs. I felt more comfortable and natural in that position for England, creating chances further up and doing what I enjoy doing.

“I don’t think the manager had thought about it too much until I mentioned it to him… the manager might not have seen me in that position too much. It’s all about putting the team first, I know that, but at the same time I want to contribute as much as I can. I feel as though I can do that more in a position further forward.

“In the last couple of years there hasn’t really been a player like Fabinho in that role, so I’ve had to adapt to that role. I think I’ve done quite well. I think if you look at Fab, it’s quite natural to him, that’s his position and he’s so good at what you need to do in that position.”

There are no shortage of (misguided) Henderson critics, and those critics have lambasted the talented long time servant with complaints about “recycling possession” and “not getting forward” (i.e. playing as a holding midfielder). And—shock of all shocks—we’ve seen just how much Henderson can contribute in an attacking sense once he’s asked to play a different position for the team.

This whole episode is a pretty great encapsulation of why Henderson is the Liverpool captain. He played for nearly two years out of his preferred position because he knew he was the best option for a holding midfielder in this team. And when a better option became available (oh hi there, Fabinho), he let the boss know about his ability and desire to play further forward.

Henderson is a class act and team player, and I’m proud he’s our captain. I dream of the day when we get to see him lift something big and silvery, and hopefully that day isn’t too far off.