Jordan Henderson takes his lead from Jack Wilshere in search for the top

06 August 2011 08:24
Liverpool's new ?16million midfielderJordan Henderson will try to emulate England pal Jack Wilshere when he is thrust into the limelight at the beginning of the Premier League campaign.

Henderson, signed as a long-term replacement for Steven Gerrard, will make his debut against former club Sunderland because the original is injured.

It will be a big step-up. But watching his former England under-21 team-mate Wilshere become an England and Champions League regular with Arsenal has given Henderson the confidence he can follow suit.

Determined: Jordan Henderson will step into Stephen Gerrard's shoes against Sunderland

'Jack has come on massively in the past couple of years and done really well. He did really well on loan at Bolton and that gave him the confidence to go into the Arsenal team and do well.

'Hopefully, I can come to this club and perform the same as he has. His success has given the rest of us from the under- 21s motivation to do the same.'

Henderson's sale has enabled Sunderland boss Steve Bruce to build a new-look side and the 21-year-old hopes that will spare him any stick from the visiting fans at Anfield.

Team building: Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish (centre) with new signings (left to right) Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Alexander Doni

'I'm not sure what reception I will get from the Sunderland supporters - that is up to them to decide. I had a great time there and the fans were brilliant with me. I don't see any reason why that would change.'

Many pundits, including Sir Alex Ferguson, are expecting great things and even a possible title challenge from Liverpool, with Kenny Dalglish creating a new atmosphere around Anfield and spending more than ?100m since he took over in January.

The Scot's biggest problem might be choosing which team to put out, as he has more than 40 first-team players to choose from.

Although Andy Carroll (?35m), Luis Suarez (?23m), Stewart Downing (?20m) and Henderson are the biggest buys, it is probably ?8m midfielder Charlie Adam from Blackpool who is most critical to Liverpool creating their famous pass-and-move style early in the season.

Key man: Charlie Adam has not joined Liverpool to sit on the bench

Adam is one of the best technical players in Britain and deadly from set-pieces, but there have been doubts over his pace at the highest level.

But he warned he has not turned up at Anfield merely to warm the bench.

He said: 'For me, it's all about playing. It's no good sitting on the sidelines at a top club. I'd prefer to play every week somewhere else.

'I'm a piece of the jigsaw. The manager is putting together a package here and he sees me as part of that.'

Liverpool are still trying to sign a leftback, with Newcastle United's Jose Enrique top of their wanted list. But they also need to trim the squad and will listen to offers for players from Philipp Degen to Joe Cole.  CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR FREE FANTASY FOOTBALL GAMELiverpool 2 Valencia 0: Mixed fortunes for Dalglish as Johnson limps off but Carroll finds the netKenny won't bow to price tag! Downing plays down chances of automatic Reds starting placeAll the latest Liverpool news, features and opinion

Source: Daily_Mail

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