Not very often that I make player analysis posts these days, but today I would just like to talk about Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson.
A Bit of Everything
His game’s got a bit of everything, but he is, in my opinion not magnificent in any specific area of his game apart from his short pass accuracy and execution. He’s really dynamic in the sense that he can offer tackling, tracking back, passing and an odd shot here and there.
Joe Allen Lite
In all honesty, I think that Henderson’s game is very compatible with the Tiki-Taka. His short passing is neat and tidy, he doesn’t rush the ball forward unlike most of the others, and he tracks back a lot to help with pressing the opposition upon losing the ball. In short, I personally view him as a Joe Allen Lite, very much like Arsenal are Barcelona Lite.
He’s got fantastic short passing, although perhaps it is his range and the ‘X-Factor’ that he is perhaps lacking from his game at the moment. But otherwise, I think that he’s still a fantastic prospect, and is well worth keeping – especially considering that we have our Europa League, League Cup and FA Cup games to come.
His Season so Far
To kind of think of it, he has produced all the type of statistics that Brendan Rodgers would ideally like from his players. In 3 matches, he has produced a 92.2% pass completion rate (2 starts from the Europa League and 1 appearance in the Premier League), and it definitely wouldn’t be because of his performance on the pitch that is costing him a place in the first XI, it is rather what the others are doing.
Impressively, he has also notched up 2 assists, which is impressive for such limited gametime for the Englishman.
But Now Begs the Question…
…Is he really worth it? We talked about huge wages for the likes of Dirk Kuyt – and he was essentially booted out of Anfield due to his high wages and because we felt that such high wages weren’t worthy of just a squad player.
It could apply here as well.
Understandably, Henderson is younger, bodes well with the Brendan Rodgers philosophy and has the statistics to back him up. Rodgers will definitely give him the chance to shine in League and FA Cup matches, but ideally I would like to see him get action week in, week out – perhaps even a loan deal until the end of the season.
His wages: 65k a week
We definitely shouldn’t have to pay for such a huge pay packet if we ain’t seeing him play every week. Ideally we could loan him out and get some of the even younger players rare appearances for the first team. I’m well aware that we have a fantastic prospect in Connor Coady who could very well fill Henderson’s shoes for this season.
No future fee. At least 50% of his wages covered. Clause which means that we can call him back should we require to.
His Best Position?
The reason I suggest that he gets loaned out is because his best position is where Joe Allen would usually occupy (when Lucas Leiva is fit) or a role similar to the one Nuri Sahin is in right now, one where he can move forward and just distribute the ball and open up opposition defences.
Right wing is also where he can be deployed, but I reckon that in the presence of Assaidi, Sterling, Suso, Downing and co. he would better well be used as our second/third backup for the midfield positions.
So, what do you guys think Liverpool FC should do with Henderson? How should the Reds deploy him? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!