Jordan Henderson | The Early Days
Jordan Henderson joined Liverpool in the summer of 2011 from Sunderland. He was one of Kenny Dalglish’s big money signings.
In 2009, he became a regular member of Sunderland side. Jordan’s first big display was in a 4-3 defeat against a strong Manchester City side. He scored one goal and created another. After that game, he was touted a potential big star of the future. His development resumed rapidly. In 2010-11 season, he emerged as one of Sunderland’s key players. At age of only 20, Jordan was providing a creative spark for Sunderland, creating chances and assisting goals. It was quite obvious that he is going to be something special.
Big money move and the pressure that goes with it
Jordan’s big performances didn’t go unnoticed. Reports of interest from Liverpool and Manchester United emerged and Sunderland fans became aware he isn’t staying for much longer. Young Jordan was about to get a chance to complete a dream move for any young footballer. Kenny Dalglish, appointed earlier that year, came knocking. Sunderland received an offer of £16m pounds.
When he arrived to Liverpool, many fans didn’t know much about him. All they knew is that he is a young English talent, supposedly set for big things. There was a lot of anticipation from fans whether he is really a good player or not, especially for that amount of money. Many of them were very skeptical.
His first season didn’t go well. As a central midfielder, he was forced to play on the right side of the pitch, majorly as a winger. His performances were far from acceptable, and fans began to wonder what was going through Kenny’s mind when he bought him. Young man was under a lot of pressure. Media started pointing out his big transfer fee, using it as a weapon against him, trying to unsettle him even further. Luckily, one of Hendo’s main strengths is his mentality. He never gave up. He kept his head down and started working even harder, waiting for a chance to prove his worth.
Was it all so bad?
Despite a ‘’poor’’ start to his Liverpool career, Jordan wasn’t as bad as fans and media thought. Stats of 2011-2012 season show that he has won 84% of his duels, more than any other Liverpool player. He won 41 out of 53 tackles he made. This stat just proves his sheer determination and his fighting spirit. According to stats, he made a tackle every 52.22 minutes. Here is one stat I personally love about him. He attempted a challenge every 9.18 minutes. This proves what kind of a player he is. No ball is lost for him and you’ll have a hard time shaking him off.
He also had 80% pass accuracy. Decent enough for a player that is ‘’bad’’, eh?
In average, he attempted a pass every 1.78 minutes, a tackle every 52.22 minutes and a shot every 85.9 minutes. However, it took him quite a long time to make an assist or to create a goal-scoring chance, averaging 83.22 minutes per assist or attempt.
So, seeing all this, was he really that bad as majority of people thought? Personally, I think not. He was a young player in his first season at one of the biggest clubs in England, played out of position and still made some impressive stats. He is the engine of the team, a box-to-box midfielder, not someone who will change the game with a pass or with an amazing long shot like Stevie G did so many times. You need to understand his style of play. He has immense stamina and determination, making him a very valuable midfield player. He is the type of guy that will drive you insane with his persistence. He is the future of Liverpool Football Club.