Tuesday 23 May 2017

Henderson on the way in as Liverpool step up overhaul

Jack Pitt-Brooke and Mark Fleming

liverpool agreed a deal to buy Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson yesterday. The 20-year-old will cost £20m, including David N'Gog in the opposite direction.

A statement from Anfield yesterday morning announced that Henderson would undergo a medical on Merseyside after a fee had been finalised, and Sunderland confirmed Henderson was headed for Liverpool "with the club's blessing". Their chairman Niall Quinn praised Henderson's character and suggested the fee would be reinvested.

"Jordan is a credit to himself, his family and Sunderland's academy and everyone here wishes him the very best," Quinn said. "I am pleased that we got the deal to a level we felt was right for our club."

The 20-year-old had just completed his second full season in the Sunderland first team, in which he made 39 appearances and scored three goals. Henderson, who was born and brought up in Sunderland, made his debut in November 2008 before a loan spell at Coventry City later that season.

His good form this season led to an England debut in the 2-1 friendly defeat to France last November. That was his one senior cap to date, but he will be an important part of Stuart Pearce's squad for this month's European U-21 Championship.

busy

The purchase of Henderson is the first move of what may be a busy summer for Liverpool. As with January's £35m recruitment of Andy Carroll, Henderson represents the club's enthusiasm for young English talent.

Meanwhile, Arsenal made their first signing of the summer yesterday, buying 19-year-old defender Carl Jenkinson from Charlton. Jenkinson has played nine first-team games for Charlton, and can play at both right-back and centre-back. He has represented both England and Finland at youth level, and last year captained Finland U-19s.

Dick Advocaat has criticised Arsene Wenger for his use of Andrey Arshavin. The Dutchman managed Arshavin at Zenit St Petersburg and said the forward needs more time on the pitch to play his best football.

"One of his problems is that he plays 20 minutes per game," Advocaat said. "Wenger uses him as a player who can be fielded in the second half and who can refresh the game."

Elsewhere, Lille forward Gervinho has announced his desire to move to England.

"My mind is made up, I am leaving," he said.

"I will soon meet the club and let them know, but they understand my feelings that I want to prove myself in a top league in Europe.

"My agents are moving things as I want, people know where my future lies, it is in England." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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