Belfast Telegraph

Whelan: Henderson will boost Reds

Liverpool legend Ronnie Whelan believes Jordan Henderson can thrive at Anfield - as long as the young midfielder handles the pressure that comes with playing for the Merseyside club.

Henderson joined the Reds from Sunderland on Thursday night, with reports suggesting the deal could be worth up to £20million.

Whelan has been impressed by what he has seen of the 20-year-old, but has stressed that Henderson must be ready to deal with the weight of Liverpool fans' expectations. He told the Liverpool Echo: "He looks a very good player and he is talked about as being one of England's best young talents, so it appears to be a good signing by Liverpool."

He added: "He seems to have all the attributes needed to be a good central midfield player. He has good stamina and energy, he passes the ball well and his control is good.

"He looks an all-round player, and will add plenty to Kenny (Dalglish)'s squad.

"The key now for a young player like Jordan is how he handles the step up to a big club.

"Liverpool is not like Sunderland - they are expected to win every week, and so it remains to be seen how he handles the pressures that come with that."

Whelan, who played almost 500 times for Liverpool through the 1980s and early 1990s, thinks Henderson's arrival will boost the standard of the Reds midfield.

"He (Dalglish) will be looking to play him in his best position, which is central midfield," Whelan said. "It is a squad game now, and you need depth and quality.

"Players like Lucas Leiva and young Jay Spearing have done really well last season, but if you are looking for players to take you to the next level then you need better and Jordan is better, in my opinion."

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