Liverpool snap up Jordan Henderson in £20m deal

08 June 2011 08:01

Jordan Henderson has agreed to join Liverpool from Sunderland for ?20million.

The 20-year-old midfielder, who is flying out with England's Under 21 squad for the European Championship in Denmark, will sign a five-year deal on his return.

Liverpool striker David Ngog is moving to Sunderland as part of the deal.

Henderson is Kenny Dalglish's first major signing of the summer and the manager next expects to land his top defensive target, Blackburn centre half Phil Jones, 19.

On the move: Henderson is leaving Sunderland for Liverpool

Liverpool will also try again to sign Blackpool captain Charlie Adam and Ipswich's 18-year-old striker Connor Wickham.

Adam, 25, wanted to move to Anfield in January, only for the deal to collapse. But Liverpool remain keen on a midfielder who fits in with the policy of owners Fenway Sports Group, who want young British talent.

Sunderland had insisted throughout reports of the Merseysiders' interest in their highest-profile academy graduate that he was simply not for sale.

However, the reality which has long been acknowledged by manager Steve Bruce is that every player has his price and for Henderson, that had been set at around the ?20million mark.

Bruce had no desire to sell a player who emerged from the ranks last season to hold down a regular place in his hometown club's first-choice XI.

New surroundings: Henderson in action for Sunderland against Liverpool, his new club, last season

However, as was the case when Aston Villa came calling in January with adeal potentially rising to ?24million for Darren Bent, Sunderland were made an offer which represents a significant return on their investment.

If the figures add up favourably, what is not in dispute is that Henderson's departure will leave another major hole in Bruce's squad.

His form suffered in the immediate aftermath of his senior England debutagainst France in November last year, but the 20-year-old has been a key man for the Black Cats in the last two seasons and will take some replacing.

The manager is already engaged in an extensive recruitment drive with Bent yet to be replaced, while the returns of loan signings Danny Welbeck, Nedum Onuoha, John Mensah and Sulley Muntari to their clubs hasleft him with a series of sizeable gaps to plug.

In demand: Henderson (left) in action for England's U21 clash with Norway last weekend

Bruce is targeting as many as three strikers and in the circumstances, the inclusion of 22-year-old Ngog in the deal will prove an attractive benefit, although he has been a largely peripheral figure during his three seasons to date at Anfield.

Allowing Henderson to leave will add another item to the shopping list but significantly boost his transfer kitty, with owner Ellis Short remaining supportive but having reined in some of the rather less controlled spending of recent years.

However, it may not go down too well with fans who still blame Bent's shock departure for the club's slump during the second half of last season.

Liverpool have also been linked with Black Cats skipper Lee Cattermole in recent days, although it is unlikely that Bruce would be prepared to part with two members of his first-choice midfield.

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Source: Daily_Mail