Liverpool’s former director of football Damien Comolli claims he always knew Jordan Henderson would be a success at the club.
There were lots of critics when the Reds signed Henderson from Sunderland for £20million on Comolli’s watch but eight years later the midfielder is captaining Liverpool in Champions League finals.
“It was a mix of four different factors,” Comolli told The Independent. “The first one: when we looked at his fitness data it was absolutely out of this world. That was very important, to know that he could match the intensity that physically Liverpool should play at.
“Secondly, when we looked at his technical and tactical data, he was doing things at Sunderland that were as good as some of the top midfielders in the Premier League.
“The third aspect was live scouting, we all watched him, all came back very enthusiastic about what we saw. And the fourth aspect is the personality. We made a lot of enquiries about what type of individual he was, his behaviour, his obsession for improvement.
“They talk about marginal gains, with Jordan every day it is ‘how can I improve, how can I gain 5% of marginal gains?’
“The other aspect of his personality, when you spend a bit of time with him, you can straightaway tell about his leadership skills, his determination, his commitment. Everything you see on the pitch.”
He added: “I remember the day I was sacked, the owners told me, Jordan Henderson what a massive mistake it was. That was about the only thing they told me.”