Steven Gerrard says that “underappreciated” Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is “an example to all players”.
Gerrard bestowed the captain’s armband on Henderson upon his departure for MLS and LA Galaxy last summer, and the former Sunderland midfielder has the opportunity to skipper Liverpool to their first trophy in four years when they take on Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday.
Henderson joined the Reds in summer 2011, playing alongside Gerrard for four years at the heart of the Liverpool midfielder under Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers.
Gerrard feels that victory at Wembley would be a crowning moment for the “underappreciated” Henderson.
‘I have been in constant touch with my old team-mates and friends at Melwood through the season and I would love nothing more than to see Jordan Henderson lifting that trophy,’ Gerrard wrote in his Daily Telegraph column. ‘I cannot tell you how much Jordan would deserve it.
‘Something that goes underappreciated in football – and you can’t put a price on – is those players who are absolutely dedicated to their profession, who from the moment they step on the training pitch are determined to learn more and make themselves the best they can be. Jordan is an example to all players.
‘He had some tough times when he joined Liverpool and came through that to be named captain, only to be affected by injury just as he was given the armband at the start of this season. The Liverpool supporters will appreciate how tough that must have been for him, but he is a lad who would play through the pain barrier every week in order to wear that red shirt. He has often put his body on the line even when he was not 100 per cent at his best. Give me 11 players like that. I’d be so proud of him if he becomes the next Liverpool captain to lift a trophy and I will not be able to send the text quick enough to congratulate him.
Gerrard added: ‘After their experiences in recent seasons, I know how hungry some of those players are for that first winners’ medal. If they win, I also know how hungry they will be to win even more.’