Jordan Henderson has thanked Brendan Rodgers' role in his performances for the Reds this season, but he can’t thank the boss for all of his improvements on the pitch.
Henderson rejected a move to Fulham last summer, and had appeared to have slid down the Anfield pecking order following Rodgers' arrival from Swansea.
But the England U-21 has slowly re-established himself in the first team, and feels that thanks to Rodgers he has become a better player, but as i said at the start of the article Henderson has himself to thank for the alot of his performances this season.
I'm going to outline a few of the reasons why Jordan Henderson has blossomed this season and could go on to become a mainstay in the Liverpool midfield.
1. Unselfishness and Versatility
Henderson has played a variety of positions in his time at Liverpool, box to box in central midfield, as the deep controlling midfielder, right wing, left-sided attacker with licence to roam infield and as the attacking midfielder supporting the central striker all with varied results.
But to his credit Henderson has worked hard to establish himself, and his willingness to put the team ahead of himself has not gone un-noticed and as the season has gone on Henderson's performances have gotten better.
2. Work-rate and overall Attributes
Henderson brings a physicality to the side that midfield has been missing, especially as the centre of the park has often shown up to be too lightweight, and sometimes struggling to maintain tempo on the ball with the pressing game that Brendan Rodgers is implementing.
Mix that with his ability to work hard for 90 minutes and maintain positional discipline just as important as his prowess at passing the ball, all point to the England international becoming a well-rounded player.
3. Goals and Assists
There are things that are expected of a midfielder and the final product is one of them and when deployed in a more advanced role it shows.
Whether it’s through the centre or from one of the flanks, Henderson is obviously asked to have a positive impact on the game in terms of creating chances and scoring goals.
Over the course of the season this has happened.
So far Henderson has grabbed goals against Udinese, Norwich, Arsenal, Aston Villa and a brace against Newcastle as well as completing 95% of his passes and he's provided four assists this season against West Ham, Newcastle, Arsenal and QPR.
Liverpool's No. 14 has improved in every single key attacking statistic compared to last season (all statistics via EPLindex.com).
Pass completion rate, attacking zone completion rate, cross accuracy, minutes per chance created, minutes per clear-cut chance created, minutes per goal scored, minutes per shot on target and chance conversion rate.
Those 3 reasons alone should be enough for Liverpool fans to be optimistic over Henderson and what his future holds, because let’s face it even the great Steven Gerrard wasn't a hit at first, only scoring 1 league goal in 2 seasons and look at him now . Given time Henderson could become the next great midfielder to wear the captain’s armband.