Ever since the great Steven Gerrard left Liverpool Football club for Los Angeles Galaxy in 2015, the fans doubted Jordan Henderson, the next-in-line for the Red’s captaincy, would be able to fill the void left by Gerrard.
The iconic and loyal captain who stood with the club through thick and thin, despite not having an able squad around him to regularly challenge for the biggest of trophies and kick-starting THAT comeback, against a famed AC Milan team in the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul.
Gerrard (Liverpool FC)
Despite the odds stacked against him, Henderson managed to not only do that but has carved out his legacy in the Merseyside club’s folklore as one of its legends.
Steven George Gerrard, a local Scouser, came through the Liverpool youth ranks to the first team in 1998. He was primarily a central midfielder but was versatile enough to fill in for attacking midfield roles as well. He was also occasionally deployed as a second striker, right-back and a right-winger. Due to this versatility, he played as a defensive midfielder in his later years.
He had a wide range of skills in his arsenal, from the ability to operate as a deep-lying playmaker and orchestrating the play, providing assists and line-breaking passes from a more attacking midfield role to scoring absolute rockets from distance. He had a knack for scoring clutch goals from long range throughout his career, including in three cup finals.
Gerrard, 2006 FA Cup final.
Gerrard was a tough tackler and a physical presence in the middle of the park. His tactical intelligence, maturity and ability to read the game helped him to break down the opposition’s attacking plays.
Captain Fantastic as he was known had leadership, determination and ability to influence on the pitch were second to none, inspiring his teammates and coming back from a three-goal deficit to clinch the Champions League against Milan. He even turned down £20 million to Chelsea, an amazing example of loyalty to Liverpool something which is very rare in the current footballing world.
Gerrard vs AC Milan (2005)
He is the club’s second top scorer in history with 186 goals only behind the legendary Ian Rush (307), despite playing a variety of aforementioned midfield roles. Arguably, Gerrard is the best player the club has produced since the days of the legendary Sir Kenny Dalglish.
Appearances (all competitions): 749
Goals (all competitions): 191
Assists (all competitions): 158
Trophies won: FA Cup (2), League Cup (3), UEFA Champions League (1), UEFA cup (1), UEFA Super cup (1).
Jordan Brian Henderson joined Liverpool FC in 2011 from Sunderland for an undisclosed fee thought to be between £16 and £20 million. He ended that season with 48 appearances. New manager Brendan Rodgers did not fancy him and was told he could leave the club for Fulham which was rejected by Henderson, determined to prove a point. He made himself indispensable in the subsequent seasons, establishing himself as a regular member of the Liverpool team in the 2013-14 season.
The Sunderland native was so crucial to the team, that after receiving his first-ever red card in a win over Manchester City, Liverpool did not win the next two games, losing to Chelsea at Anfield and drawing away to Crystal Palace. They conceded the Premier League title to Manchester City in the process.
Gerrard and Henderson (Irish Mirror)
He took over the club captaincy after Gerrard left in 2015 and comparisons to him were inevitable. After Rodgers was sacked, new manager Jurgen Klopp built his team around him. Henderson played as the defensive midfielder in Klopp’s 4-3-3 formation, despite traditionally being more of a box to box midfielder, although he was able to return to his favored role following Fabinho’s arrival in 2018.
Henderson is a versatile player. He even played as a right-back in 2018/19 and as a makeshift centre-back during the club’s injury crisis last season.
He is widely renowned for his hard work and the energy he brings to this Liverpool side. He is a crucial component of Klopp’s ‘Gegenpressing’ style of play. He is an aggressive presser off the ball, often leading the press against the opponents high up the pitch.
‘Hendo’ possesses immense physical attributes like strength, having an engine and the ability to win challenges and duels, crucial for Liverpool’s high pressing style of play.
He has been praised for tactical intelligence and the ability to be efficient in build-up play and transitioning the ball forward. His role is underrated and his importance to this side cannot be understated.
He is a great leader who sets the standards on the pitch. Liverpool has, at times, fallen apart especially in midfield without the captain’s presence. He is the glue that holds this side together.
The captain has recently added pinpoint passes from deep to his repertoire, which has proven to help in breaking down the stubborn low-block sides.
He has not scored as often as ‘Stevie G’ did but he has scored some spectacular goals himself, for instance, scoring a 25-yard strike against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in 2016/17 in a 2-1 win. That strike earned him the Premier League goal of the month.
Appearances (all competitions): 393
Goals (all competitions): 30
Assists (all competitions): 49
Trophies won: Premier League (1), League Cup (1), UEFA Champions league (1), UEFA Super cup (1), FIFA Club World cup (1).
Henderson (This is Anfield)
Henderson only needs the FA Cup to win everything there is to win in club football.
Although Henderson is certainly not a better player than Gerrard was, he has forged his legacy by leading the team that won the elusive Premier League in 19/20 thereby ending the club’s 30-year-old drought.
He is not the next Steven Gerrard, he is THE Jordan Henderson.