It’s clear from the way he’s treated in the national team just how respected Jordan Henderson is within English football.
This is someone who missed most of the second half of the season and hasn’t really looked fully fit, but there was never any question he would go to the European Championships. England manager Gareth Southgate knew he needed the leadership qualities of Liverpool’s captain in the dressing room, even if he wouldn’t get a great deal of minutes on the pitch. Henderson was an essential.
And when he’s been able to contribute on the pitch, he has delivered.
England ran out very comfortable winners in a 4-0 rout against Ukraine to secure a spot in the Euro 2020 semi-finals. Henderson was able to score his first goal for his country, direct from a corner delivered by Chelsea’s Mason Mount. You could see on his face how delighted Henderson was to finally score for his country, and it’s richly deserved for his good work in an England shirt over his career.
“That’s important in tournament football”, Henderson told BBC Sport of his wait to get on the pitch, as reported by The Athletic. “You wait a long period of time and there’s certain players who might not be playing as much as they would have liked.
“But I have to say, the lads who haven’t played as much have been outstanding.
“Training the days you don’t see, training hard the day after the game not having played. Training hard, doing extra work, being there for the lads who are playing.
“You can see the celebrations when the goals go in. That’s the best squad I’ve seen at a tournament. We’re getting our rewards for it so far.
“We need to continue it for the next few days going into the biggest game of our lives on Wednesday and give it everything to try and get to the final.”
It’s been a big tournament for England. Henderson has been a vital cog off the pitch, and now he’s showing his quality on it.