JORDAN HENDERSON is relishing the prospect of rubbing shoulders with Steven Gerrard at Liverpool after completing his transfer from Sunderland.
The Reds confirmed yesterday that they had sealed the signing of Henderson, who has put pen to paper on what they have described as a “long-term deal”.
Highly-rated Henderson, meanwhile, has moved for an undisclosed fee, with reports suggesting the Black Cats could bank £20m for the player.
Currently part of the England U21 squad, who get their European Championship campaign under way in Denmark this weekend, the 20-year-old won his first senior international cap in the 2-1 defeat to France last November.
The midfielder trained with and then played alongside Liverpool captain Gerrard in that match and Henderson hopes doing likewise on a regular basis at Anfield will prove beneficial for his development.
“He is one of the best players in the world, you want to be playing with him and training with him to try to improve yourself as a player,” Henderson said.
“I’ve trained with him once (for England) and he was unbelievable. I’m looking forward to it, and there are other good players here who can help me as well.
“Steven has been a massive, massive player for Liverpool for years now – and he still is. Hopefully I can learn a lot from him.”
Henderson is Liverpool’s first signing of the summer and – following the bigmoney captures of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in January – the third high-profile new recruit since Fenway Sports Group’s takeover of the club and Kenny Dalglish’s return as manager last season.
The Sunderland youth academy graduate made his Black Cats debut in a 5-0 defeat to Chelsea in November 2008.
In total, he made 79 appearances for the Wearsiders, scoring five goals, and he also spent a spell on loan at Coventry in the 2008-09 season. It had been thought Reds striker David Ngog might travel in the opposite direction as part of Henderson’s transfer. The Frenchman remains on Merseyside for now, but Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli has indicated the 22-year-old could soon be heading for the Stadium of Light.
“Sunderland have had a strong interest in David, so we’ve agreed to let David speak to Sunderland about his future,” Comolli said.
Dalglish is likely to continue doing business in the transfer window as he attempts to rejuvenate his squad this summer. Liverpool are believed to also be interested in Blackpool’s Scotland midfielder Charlie Adam and Ipswich Town youngster Connor Wickham.