With niggling accidents behind him, Jordan Henderson put collectively probably the most appearances in a single season for Liverpool, and but there are query marks over what comes subsequent.
The Liverpool captain was in a position to mud off his trophy shuffle this season having held each the League Cup and FA Cup aloft, to finish the set beneath Jurgen Klopp and add to his legend.
He, and his teammates, got here so near creating additional historical past and on a person stage, Henderson, off the again of a brand new four-year contract, performed a big position.
At 31, Henderson’s recreation has modified and advanced and he’s a participant who typically finds himself beneath the microscope along with his performances not all the time proving as constant because the minutes he was handed.
Jordan Henderson, 2021/22
Began: 43 (All competitions)
On as an alternative: 14
Unused sub: 0
General Season Ranking: 8.12
A constant presence
With 11 seasons now beneath his belt at Liverpool, his final returned probably the most appearances (57) of any that got here earlier than, having managed to keep away from niggling accidents which have plagued him in current seasons.
Being nearer to the top of his profession than the beginning of it, it’s a big success that Henderson will dangle his hat on, with availability all the time to be a participant’s best asset.
“Bodily, I feel once more my numbers most likely converse for themselves this season,” Henderson stated of his health previous to the Champions League remaining.
“Mo’s given us a number of tips about restoration which I’ve discovered from. It’s helped us quite a bit.
“I’ve been actually recent for almost all of the season, it’s most likely probably the most I’ve ever performed, variety of games-wise, I feel together with internationals perhaps over 60.
“That’s fairly particular for me, particularly whenever you get into your 30s and folks begin questioning if you happen to’re getting too previous on a regular basis. It’s good to place out these numbers and carry out as properly.”
Liverpool’s administration of Henderson, little doubt, proved important in enabling the 31-year-old to amass 3,876 minutes throughout the season, having been substituted off the pitch 22 out of his 43 begins.
And that cautious administration was seen from the off when the captain needed to miss the opener at Norwich having had his pre-season compromised by England’s run to the Euro 2020 remaining.
From there on out, he would miss solely an extra 5 video games within the subsequent 62 for Liverpool, with Klopp readily counting on his captain amid his luxurious of alternative in midfield choices.
The Champions League did show an exception to that rule, nonetheless, with 4 successive begins from the bench, sitting both aspect of the journey to AC Milan the place he was omitted fully for a relaxation.
Fabinho and Thiago are two of the primary names on the teamsheet, leaving loads of competitors for the ultimate midfield position, with Naby Keita, Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones amongst these within the body.
However that once more delivered to the fore a query of which place most accurately fits Henderson, the No. 6 or No. 8 position?
The best-sided midfield position or the deep-lying No. 6, the place does Henderson greatest match?
It’s a query readily debated and mentioned, and the captain had loads of minutes in each positions so as to add to both aspect of the dialog.
Because the right-sided No. 8, Henderson delivered to the fore eye-catching performances, his show at Everton an impressed one which began with a chic strike for the opener earlier than enjoying a perfectly-weighted ball from which Mohamed Salah duly completed.
The Champions League assembly with AC Milan was one other such instance of his ending capabilities, his need to make good third-man runs and drive on the defence.
On the flip aspect of the coin, his showings at Brentford, Leicester and Burnley, specifically, have been disjointed on the suitable, typically turning into too ball attentive and simply dragged out of place.
It’s the management factor and the wasted passing alternatives that may frustrate, with Henderson’s greatest belongings not all the time coming to the fore in what’s a key midfield position.
It’s a place he’s afforded extra freedom in, with Fabinho holding down the fort with Thiago sometimes by his aspect as does so.
However when Fabinho is injured or in want of rotation, Henderson’s potential to drop into the No. 6 is a string to his bow that’s invaluable for Klopp.
Controlling the sport from the deepest midfield place has conjured up a few of Henderson’s most constant performances, utilising his need to lift the tempo and see the entire pitch.
At Man United, he was in a position to dictate play, loved a 96 % go success fee and arrange Salah as soon as extra with an outstanding go with the skin of his boot, a whole displaying.
It was a place he was deployed in on over 15 events all through the season, however notably in opposition to sides significantly additional down the desk, and the Reds dropped factors in solely certainly one of these video games – that being that Brighton draw.
It’s a place that requires extra tactical self-discipline and nous, consciousness that the No. 8 position could have opened his eyes to along with watching Fabinho, who he says is “the most effective on this planet in that place.”
Henderson might be progressive and guaranteed within the No. 6 place and that Fabinho‘s damage absence was not fully felt throughout the captain’s time within the position spoke volumes of his performances.
It’s an fascinating level to ponder, particularly after the signing of Darwin Nunez that would see Klopp shift his formation to a 4-2-3-1.
It may actually negate including one other midfielder to the ranks this summer season, with the necessity, subsequently, not as nice with the choices already at Klopp’s disposal.
Henderson’s place is safe with a contract signed at first of final season, however he’s not to be with out competitors as Naby Keita finds his stride, Elliott continues to develop, as too Jones.
A full summer season off after Gareth Southgate took his efforts all through the season under consideration will maintain him in good stead for one more constant 12 months, however you’re feeling Klopp could cut back his reliance on his captain.
He’ll nonetheless accumulate copious quantities of minutes and video games, health allowing, however the FA Cup semi-final in opposition to Man Metropolis and the Champions League semi-final at Villarreal confirmed he’s not all the time to be on the coronary heart of midfield.
The mix of Fabinho, Thiago and Naby Keita is quickly desired and if Klopp does go for a double pivot, the scene modifications as soon as extra for the 31-year-old.
Greatest second: His efficiency at Goodison was an impressed one, with a purpose and an help displaying off his easiest – a powerful point out for his Previous Trafford help.
Worst second: The journey to Burnley is tough to look past, frequently shedding possession, misplacing passes after which making a deal with that bought him booked and injured on the similar time.
Position subsequent season: A constant presence in midfield however with a possible drop in minutes resulting from not being a starter every week.