Jordan Henderson is a better captain and leader of men than Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, believes talkSPORT host Adrian Durham.
Tuesday marked eight years since Henderson made his debut appearance for the Reds, following his £20million arrival from Sunderland in 2011.
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His transfer fee was largely scoffed at by supporters at the time, but those same fans will likely look back now and realise what an important signing it was for the club.
Signed by Kenny Dalglish and hand-selected to succeed Gerrard as captain, Henderson has made 326 appearances for the Reds, scoring 25 goals, and last season emulated both Anfield greats by leading Liverpool to Champions League glory.
His workmanlike performances often go unnoticed by all but the Anfield faithful, who have come to accept the Wearside boy as one of their own.
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And Durham believes the midfielder would be regarded as one of the club’s great leaders if it weren’t for Gerrard’s homegrown status – as he has commanded the respect of a team of superstars.
Speaking on Tuesday’s Drivetime, the host said: “Obviously there was a comparison when he became captain it was after Gerrard had finished and everybody thought it was impossible – how do you take over from Steven Gerrard?
“But I think there’s a case to say that if it wasn’t for the fact Steven Gerrard was Liverpool born and bred, people might consider Jordan Henderson to be a better captain and a better leader.
“Leadership isn’t really about huddles and rallying cries, it’s about actually doing it unnoticed.
“You’ve got three or four of the best players in the world right now at Liverpool, in Allison, Mane, Salah and Van Dijk and they all look up to Henderson and he commands their respect.
“He might not be one of the best players in the world, but in terms of leadership he commands that respect among a team of superstars.
“With the greatest of respect, Steven Gerrard wasn’t ever leading that level of player, he was leading players who were beneath him.
“So I think it’s really important to establish just what a brilliant leader Jordan Henderson is.
“People might say: ‘hang on a minute, what about what Gerrard did in Istanbul in 2005?’
“But did you see what Henderson did against Barcelona, on the greatest night any Liverpool fan has ever had? The best night of football at Anfield and Jordan Henderson was man of the match, he was the best player on the pitch for Liverpool.”