Jordan Henderson has signed a new five-year contract at Liverpool, which underlines his importance to the Jurgen Klopp era. After the incomings of Fabinho and Naby Keita, there were doubts regarding the 28-year-old’s role at Anfield. However, this development shows that he does have a long-term future with the Reds.
He first joined the club in 2011 and he has gone on to make 283 appearances for Liverpool. Over the length of his new contract, he is likely to rack up a lot more appearances and there is an opportunity for Henderson to emerge as an iconic figure in the club’s history. The former Sunderland player is already the club captain. He will be looking to have a big impact on the coming seasons under Jurgen Klopp.
This news comes just days after Henderson made his first Premier League start of the season. Although he is the club captain, he isn’t guaranteed a starting berth in the midfield. At a big club such as Liverpool, no player can be sure of his role in the starting eleven and the increased competition for places should have a positive impact on the 28-year-old’s own performance levels.
Against Leicester City, he completed 88% of his passes, which shows his reliability in possession. His role was to sit deep and link the defence to the midfield. It wasn’t his best performance, but he will be working his way back up to full fitness. Henderson made only two ball recoveries and was beaten on the dribble on three occasions.
During the summer, he was one of the standout performers for England during their run to the World Cup semi-finals. He has a lot of confidence now and his new contract will motivate him to step up to a similar level with Liverpool. Henderson knows that he will need to be at his best to play regularly for the Reds, but this new contract is a public display of faith from his manager.
Last season, Henderson played an important role in both Liverpool’s Premier League and Champions League campaigns. In the latter competition, he featured in 10 matches, averaging four ball recoveries per game. Meanwhile, his passing accuracy stood at an impressive 82.7%.
His doubters will suggest that he isn’t a world class player. Both Fabinho and Keita will provide dynamism to the Liverpool midfield, but Henderson has a lot of experience and it is a wise move by Klopp to keep him around the club for the next five years.
For a team to emerge as title contenders, a strong squad with healthy competition is required. Liverpool now have that in their midfield and Henderson will be one of six looking to lock down a starting role.
Klopp will rotate often this season as his style of play requires the midfielders to have a lot of energy, therefore all six will have to be kept as fresh as possible. It could be that Henderson doesn’t feature in his strongest team, but this new contract emphasises his importance to the club. It should be viewed as a positive that the Reds have got their captain tied down to a new deal. They will be hoping other notable key players follow suit.