Jordan Henderson: I had an opportunity to leave Liverpool...now I want trophies
Almost three years after nearly leaving Liverpool Jordan Henderson has committed his long-term future to the club convinced he can win silverware at Anfield.
Late in the summer of 2012, just a couple of months into the reign of Brendan Rodgers, he was lined up as makeweight in a failed bid to sign Fulham's Clint Dempsey only for the midfielder to reject the move.
His determination to prove himself, and justify the £16million price tag which came with him from Sunderland the previous summer, has been rewarded not only with a new five-year £100,000-a-week contract but with the prospect of him taking over the captain's armband from Steven Gerrard when he leaves for the Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the season.
But it is the unfulfilled potential which persuaded the 24-year-old England international to commit what should be the best years of his career to the club.
"A few years ago I had an opportunity to leave but I always knew how big this club is and I wanted to stay here for as long as possible - and nothing has changed since then," he told liverpoolfc.com.
"I feel as though I have got a good connection with the club now and there was no doubt where my future was going to be and it was just a matter of time for my agent and the club to sort it out.
"I have been through difficult times but I would never change that because I know there will be more difficult times ahead and I'll have to use that and I'll be able to handle it a lot better.
"Hopefully we've got many years ahead of winning trophies.
"I'm the same as every other player, I want to be playing at the highest level - in the Champions League, winning trophies and being very successful.
"I had good conversations with the manager about the future of the football club and it was very bright, I was very pleased with what I was hearing.
"I want to be a big part of that and hopefully I can.
"I feel there's a lot of potential, but we need to start turning that potential into winning things. I've got a good feeling that we can do that."
Rodgers hopes other players - youngsters Raheem Sterling (who has rejected a £100,000-a-week offer), Jordon Ibe and experienced defender Martin Skrtel are all currently negotiating new deals - will follow Henderson's lead.
"We are obviously delighted. It is great news for the club and Jordan that he will be spending best part of his career and development here at Liverpool and he is a big part of the plan going forward," said the Reds boss.
"I am delighted for him and the club and we can continue his development.
"The club paid big money for him at the time because he had big potential and that potential has been developed and he will go into the next phase of that.
"The likes of Jordan and Raheem are very important players and the club, behind the scenes, is working very hard to ensure we sign these type of players.
"The model is to develop young players and when they have improved it is important you nail them to the club and make sure they are here for the best part of their careers."