Henderson: From Collateral to Leader

Kev Hart looks at a few stats on Jordan Henderson since his arrival at Liverpool.

From being used as a makeweight in a transfer deal to now, a key figure in the LFC team, Henderson has transformed into the player we all thought he might.

Last season Liverpool stepped up their game and challenged for their first Premier League title since 1990, there were many stand-out players last campaign, the likes of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho helped fire the Reds back where they belong, playing Champions League football, but one player who really began to show his worth last term was midfielder Jordan Henderson.

Henderson is renown for his unrivalled work-rate during matches, his fantastic stamina and speed on the ball, strength to hold off players and impeccable natural fitness.

After his big move to the club in 2011 from Sunderland there was huge pressure for the box-to-box midfielder to succeed and step up to the big time, he was played out of position and couldn’t seem to find his feet. At the start of his Liverpool career he struggled on the pitch, in his season under Kenny Dalglish he could only manage 2 goals, 1 assists and a pass succession rate of 83.9%. Trying to prove yourself when you’re playing alongside Steven Gerrard is hard enough but with a colossal fee of 16 million pounds over your head it would make it 10 times harder. The following year when Brendan Rodgers came in as manager the player started showing notable changes in his game and flourished under the Northern Irishman, scoring 5 goals and gathering 4 assists in the Premier League with an 84.5% pass success rate.

Last season though we got to see a completely new player in Jordan Henderson, as he became a key man for Liverpool and his dismissal against Manchester City could be a key reason behind the Reds not winning the title. Last season Henderson scored 4 goals, won 7 assists and had a 87.1% pass success rate in the Premier League, this is compared to Jack Wilshere’s 3 goals, 3 assists and 86.1% PSR, Tom Cleverley’s 1 goal, no assists and 89.1% PSR* (Take into mind Cleverley played in 22 games last season and Henderson played in 35 so the succession rate has more chance of being higher), Ross Barkley’s 6 goals, no assists and small 85% PSR and Tom Huddlestone’s 2 goals, 2 assists and 79.6% PSR (Stats by WhoScored). These stats show Jordan Henderson’s improvement over the past 2 years and how he contrasts to other young Premier League midfielders.

Henderson looks set for another top class season and is now given a wider range of stages to perform on as the Reds return to the height of club football in the 14/15 Champions League campaign. The number 14 already started his league season with a bang after providing a world-class assist to Raheem Sterling and playing an all-out amazing game against Southampton on Sunday. If Henderson plays to the standard we have all seen him play at this past year there is no reason he cannot one day captain the club and lead us to trophies.

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