He’s never been a manager to make half hearted comments, and now Brendan Rodgers has taken credit for Jordan Henderson’s development into an England regular.
He has developed into an integral part of both Jurgen Klopp and Gareth Southgate’s sides, and former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed his part in the midfielder’s development, despite almost allowing him to join Fulham in 2012:
“An offer came from Fulham and – like I am with every player – I wanted to be honest,” Rodgers told the Telegraph.
“Jordan had done well at Sunderland and been at Liverpool for year but it was more difficult for him and some of those who came in. I could not promise him he would be playing every week, but I could promise we would improve him if he stayed with us.
“From that conversation he said he wanted to stay and prove he could play regularly for Liverpool. From that moment he was brilliant for me.“
Henderson would eventually go on to establish himself in the Liverpool midfield as predicted, and was starting to attract attention from some top European Clubs, although the current Celtic manager revealed what he told him to convince him to stay:
“There was a lot of interest in Jordan so I invited him around [to my house] and chatted. I said to him, ‘Jordan, you are going to be the next captain of Liverpool’,” Rodgers added.
“That was it from there. We spoke about moving forward. It was a natural move for him as Steven Gerrard was preparing to leave. I knew he would be a captain the club would be proud of.
“It was an emotional meeting. He knew it was an honour to captain a club the size of Liverpool, and knew where he had come from. He has had to work for absolutely everything.
“I always liked Jordan as a guy. He is honest, dedicated and always wants to make himself better. I had already made him vice-captain so he could get a sense of the responsibility of leading, and then when Stevie left Jordan had become such a prominent player he was in position to take over.
“It is important there is synergy between a manager and captain. You have to work well together, and there was always a great relationship there.”