Are we underrating Jordan Henderson?

England's Best?

Jordan Henderson has always split opinions and he will continue to do so especially after his recent accolade. The Liverpool man has recently been named England Men's Player of the Year, beating superstar names such as Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane to the respectable trophy.

As for Sterling, he has been not just one of England's best this past year, but also one of the Premier League's. The Manchester City forward scored 17 goals and bagged 12 assists for the champions last season, earning him a spot in the PFA Team of the Year.

On the other hand, Henderson missed out on the PFA squad, but, of course, became just the second man to captain Liverpool to European nirvana since 1984.

Furthermore, Tottenham Hotspur's main man, Kane, still managed 17 goals in the league and fell just short of Champions League glory to Henderson's Liverpool.

An Incredible Rise

Born and bred in Sunderland, Henderson worked his way through the ranks with his boyhood club, eventually making his debut with the Black Cats in 2008. Three years later, at 20 years old, the midfielder moved to Liverpool and instantly the comparisons to Steven Gerrard were the talk of the town.

Henderson would play almost every game for the Reds in his first few seasons, until Jurgen Klopp came in, where he moved to a more sporadic role. However, Klopp would instantly hand the captaincy to Englishman when the Anfield legend, Gerrard, left.

Now, four years since the German came in, Henderson still struggles to consistently start a league game, but remains integral to Liverpool's unstoppable rise back to the top.

Gerrard's Shoes Fit Nicely

In truth, there were not bigger shoes to fill. Plus, captaining Liverpool when league titles still evade them means your every step is analysed and scrutinised.

Gerrard famously led Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005 and remained the club's most valuable player for way over a decade. Now, as Henderson has also reached the promise land with the Merseyside club, it seems as if Gerrard's shoes have fit nicely on his successor.

With regards to ability, there can be little debate that the current Reds captain is far from that of Gerrard. However, with 55 caps and 352 Liverpool appearances to his name, it's fair to say that Henderson has become quite the asset for both club and country.

Is it time to rate him higher?

If Marmite was a footballer, Henderson would be on the front cover of every bottle. You either simply like him and respect what he brings, or you lump him into the 'overrated' category. Either way, as he has done for a decade, the 29-year-old remains a Premier League regular and deserves some sort of respect.

Henderson's qualities from a leadership standpoint perhaps don't quite match that of his ability. For Liverpool, he has been a sensational, inspiring leader. Although, the importance on the pitch has not quite been as great as that of Fabinho or Georginio Wijnaldum, for example.

However, he has been a Liverpool captain for four years, remains England regular and is just stepping into his peak years. Maybe now is the time we respect and give credit to the talent and leadership qualities of the Liverpool star - there are not many who has done what he has.

Indeed, perhaps his recent accolade was a little undeserved based solely on the sensational, domestic treble-winning form of Sterling. But Henderson is certainly one of the country's best right now, regardless.


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