Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson, will shortly lift the Reds’ first top-flight title in 30 years, and in so doing will arguably go down as one of their most beloved players in the process.
Things might have been a lot different for the former Sunderland man, who has had to work incredibly hard to get to the position he currently finds himself in, and former Reds legend, Jamie Carragher, believes he knows the moment when Henderson saved his Anfield career.
It came during a training session and involved Luis Suarez, and showed Carragher that Henderson did have some mettle and character to be a success at the club.
“When he initially came in – and obviously I’d seen a little bit of him for Sunderland but not too much – I just remember early on he backed out of a couple of tackles at Anfield and right away the crowd were like, ‘No we’re not having that’ type of thing,” Carragher said on Sky Sports and cited by the Daily Mirror.
“He did an interview with me about six months ago where he spoke about the reaction or the little bit of a bust-up he had with Luis Suarez [in his first season], because he was finding it really tough to almost be accepted in some ways by certain players in the dressing room, whether he was good enough.
“He had a little bit of a bust up, not a major one, with Luis Suarez, a few words were exchanged in training, and I thought: ‘Oh yeah, I like that’.
“Because Luis Suarez was our best player at the time, him and Stevie Gerrard, and Luis was getting frustrated with a pass he gave him or something, and for him to stand up as a young kid at 20 or 21 it just shows how much it meant to him.
“And also how much he’d been going through, where he was a bit like ‘I don’t care anymore, I’m going to have a go at the best player in the club if he’s having a pop back at me’. And that was something evident early on.”
Although it might have taken a while for him to blossom, there’s little doubt that Henderson is now one of Liverpool’s most important players.
For all of Virgil Van Dijk’s superb defensive attributes, and the attacking prowess of Messrs. Salah, Firmino and Mane, Henderson is the glue that holds the team together.
Jurgen Klopp’s embrace of his captain at the end of the 2019 Champions League final speaks of knowing exactly what Henderson brings to the team too.