Tuesday 20 March 2018

Rodgers: Class act Henderson weighed down by expectation

Ian Herbert

LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers believes that Jordan Henderson was subjected to unreasonable levels of expectation in his first season and appears to view him as a far more important part of the club's future than either Joe Cole or Alberto Aquilani -- two midfielders who spent last season out on loan.

Rodgers, who is progressing towards the purchase of Roma striker Fabio Borini before Liverpool's pre-season tour starts on Monday, has made a rapid assessment of the midfielders at his disposal.

He is effusive in his appreciation of Maxi Rodriguez, whom he wants to stay -- though that outcome is unlikely, with the 31-year-old wanting more time on the field than he is getting.

And Henderson, last summer's £16m signing from Sunderland, is clearly a player who fits with the manager's philosophy.


The new manager, who says he is not seeking to buy Swansea City's Joe Allen to bolster his midfield, said: "I look at the young kid Jordan Henderson who got a wee bit of stick last year, but do you know what? This is a boy who is 21 years of age.

"I thought when I first saw him at Sunderland that this kid is going to be a really good player.

"He's then coming here for a bucket load of money, coming to a massive club, massive expectation. He moves away from home, he is on his own and he has to be a world-beater straight away.

"It was never going to happen. But this kid can play football. He has got an incredible attitude."

According to Jose Enrique, Rodgers has already won over the Liverpool players.

"We are really happy with him," said the Spanish left-back. "He has had only a week with us but the training has been great. It is all with the ball, and what more could you want?

"It's really hard, but it's very good. We have good players here who can play his way, and I think this season we can impress." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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