Jordan Henderson is the “glue” helping to hold Liverpool together, says Stan Collymore, with the former Reds striker prepared to admit he got it wrong when previously questioning the midfielder’s worth.
As Jurgen Klopp’s side headed into the 2019-20 campaign, it was suggested that some more senior stars may have to take a backseat role.
Henderson, along with James Milner, was considered to slip into that category despite his standing as club captain at Anfield.
The 29-year-old England international has, however, remained a key part of Liverpool’s plans, with Collymore conceding that a once divisive figure on Merseyside has taken his game to even greater heights.
The ex-Reds frontman told The Mirror: “I want to pick out Jordan Henderson, who is so far removed from the player many of us thought he was three or four years ago.
“He can fill in centrally and still make up width and that is a nod to the exceptional tactics of Jurgen Klopp, who knows his two young full-backs will sometimes get overloaded and need a bit of help.
“I was one of those who looked at Henderson and James Milner and wondered if they’d be the two who could hamper the team.
“Milner has been round the block and has always been a great pro, but I wasn’t sure he’d add another dimension.
“I was with a lot of Liverpool fans who also wondered if Henderson should even be in the team, let alone be captain.
“But the pair haven’t just answered the questions about them, they have become intrinsic parts of the team and the dressing room.
“Any team that has lots of mercurial characters and youngsters needs a glue to bind it together and those two have done that and then some for Liverpool.
“And if - if - Liverpool do end up being crowned champions this season there is no doubt that they will have been two of the most important drivers of that.
“Henderson, in particular, given the way he has grown into the captaincy.
“Finding a new leader after Steven Gerrard was always going to be difficult, but Henderson has stepped up brilliantly.”
Henderson played another important role for Liverpool in their most recent outing, with his cross allowing Sadio Mane to score the Reds’ third goal in a 3-1 win over Manchester City which has sent them eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table.