Liverpool’s former director of football Damien Comolli signed Jordan Henderson from Sunderland in 2011 for 16 million pounds, and he believes the Englishman’s initial failure to adapt to life at Anfield was the reason for his sacking in April 2012.
“(Henderson) is one of the main reasons I got sacked,” said Comolli. “The day I got sacked, (Liverpool’s owners) told me I had made a big mistake on Jordan and he was a waste of money. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but I think we paid the right price. He was a young English, British player and we know very often that British players are overvalued.”
Henderson is Liverpool’s current captain and has made a bright start to the campaign, scoring a contender for goal of the season at Stamford Bridge a few weeks ago, but did struggle in his early years at the club. He was always a part of the side, though, playing 48 games in his first season despite harsh criticism from pundits and Liverpool fans.
That changed with Brendan Rodgers arrival, as the Northern Irish manager attempted to sell Henderson to Fulham, which the player rejected. Henderson would go on to have another busy season, adding goals to his game with six in total from 44 games. It wasn’t until the 2013/14 season that Henderson would show his value to the side, offering tireless work-rate and endeavour to become a crucial cog in Rodger’s near-title winning diamond formation. Comolli claims he knew Henderson would come good eventually.
“I never said it publicly, but I was convinced he would be the future captain,” said Comolli. “I was totally convinced, as was Kenny (Dalglish, Liverpool manager at the time of his signing), that we were doing the right thing for the club. He fitted the profile we were looking for…we were looking at statistics and going through a lot of midfield players in the Premier League and what amazed me and caught my eye was his ability to create quality chances.”
Henderson has looked solid so far this season and Liverpool fans will hope he has put the injury woes of last season behind him. Liverpool await a visit from Manchester United on Monday, the first meeting between the two side with Jose Mourinho as United manager, which will create a hostile environment and exciting atmosphere.