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Jordan Henderson Happy for Rodgers Stay, Encourages Sterling to Stick Around

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Liverpool's vice captain continued to speak highly of both his manager and his colleague after another rough week for both parties.

"Hendo, you smell of hair gel and leadership."
"Hendo, you smell of hair gel and leadership."
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool are in a bit of a leadership pickle at the moment. Steven Gerrard has departed for the sunny shores of California, two first team coaches have been fired, and Brendan Rodgers is still on shaky ground despite getting to keep his job at the end of his season review meetings with Ian Ayre and Mike Gordon. Things will no doubt settle as the summer wears on, but at the moment it's an odd place to be for both those at the club and those who watch from the outside.

In the absence of a new captain, Jordan Henderson has been the first player to speak about Brendan Rodgers since news of his continued employment was made public last Tuesday. Though many of his colleagues are on vacation, Henderson and his fellow England internationals have reported for duty ahead of a contentious friendly versus Ireland, and the midfielder had a chance to speak about some of the issues plaguing his club.

"Of course I want him to stay," Henderson said when asked about Rodgers' future with Liverpool. "I have spoke highly of Brendan ever since he came to the club. He has been fantastic for me and for Liverpool. This (coming) season is a big season for everyone involved. We all know that. We want to be finishing high as possible in the league and winning trophies.

"We have a great group of lads with great potential but I think it's time now we started showing that potential in the Premier League and also in cups. Getting to semi-finals is great but we need to be getting to finals and winning trophies. That is what we will be looking to do next season."

One player who is well suited to helping Liverpool achieve just that is Raheem Sterling, who is, of course, currently embroiled in a transfer mess of his and his agent's own making. But Henderson isn't worried at all about any awkwardness, as he lays the blame squarely on Aidy Ward.

"He's obviously left his future to whoever's representing him in regards to what he wants to do," Henderson theorized. "But for me, Raheem Sterling is a fantastic player. He's been brilliant for England and I hope he will stay at Liverpool."

"One thing I love about him is that he's a great person and a great lad. He's getting a lot of criticism because of the contract situation but he's first-class as a person. All the lads love him whether it's with England or Liverpool. He's a great professional. His work ethic is fantastic. He works as hard as he can and wants to improve all the time."

Henderson isn't the first to encourage Sterling to stay — this isn't even the first time Henderson himself has encouraged him — and he likely won't be the last. But whether Sterling-the-professional heeds his vice captain's warning or if he lets his representatives continue making interesting choices for him, it's like to be a long, long summer on the Sterling front.