Jurgen Klopp claims that Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson “has the most difficult job in England”.
Henderson splits Liverpool fans, some of whom still think that he is not of sufficient quality to play for – never mind captain – their club.
“Jordan knows what I think about him and what Gareth Southgate thinks about him. That is 100% clear. That’s why he’s our skipper. Can he improve? Yes, he is a young player,” said Klopp ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Porto.
“He was outstanding against Newcastle. He controlled the game, switched to the sides, passing range and everything was very good. He was patient and won his challenges.
“He’s a really good player. It was never for a second in doubt in my opinion. He has the most difficult job in England – he had to replace Steven Gerrard.
“That’s not a nice job to have. Hopefully people don’t think about that too much anymore and see him as a single person, as a fantastic football player. When he’s fit he’s a really strong football player.”
Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino this week wrote: ‘When I hear fans criticising Jordan Henderson I think: ‘Am I watching a different game.’ He is as important to Liverpool as all their flair players. He keeps things simple, he robs the ball off the opposition and brings energy to the midfield. He also chips in with the odd goal.
‘Henderson’s work allows the creative players to express themselves; on Saturday, he allowed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to get forward to set up the opening goal for Mohamed Salah.
‘I was talking about this on the radio yesterday and someone said that he’s not as good as Nemanja Matic at Manchester United, but I don’t see it. Matic, Fernandinho at Manchester City and N’Golo Kante at Chelsea get the praise for that role, but Henderson does it as well as anyone else.’