Belfast Telegraph

Henderson hopes Gerrard stays

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson admits Steven Gerrard very much remains the man the players look up to and it would be unimaginable to think of him not being at the club.

The 34-year-old's future has become a topic for considerable debate after it emerged this week he had not yet accepted the offer of a new contract to extend his current deal which expires in the summer.

Speculation, fuelled by manager Brendan Rodgers's judicious use of the midfielder in an attempt to reduce his workload, has linked Gerrard with a move to Major League Soccer, but the captain provided a timely reminder of his qualities with an influential performance in the 3-1 win at Leicester on Tuesday night.

Henderson, installed as vice-captain this season, admits he is still learning much from his team-mate and is hopeful he will get the chance to continue that education for a couple more years at least.

"I hope he stays on for as long as he can and then even after that really, I hope he stays at the club as long as he can," he said.

"For me, he has been the best player for a number of years, not just for Liverpool but in the Premier League, and I think he still is.

"Hopefully we keep him because he is a massive player for us and a great leader.

"Everyone has a lot of respect for him in the dressing room. He leads by example. He is a top player, but he is also a top person.

"The lads feel they can go to him with anything and he will always help them out and put them first. That is massive as a captain.

"Everyone gets on really well with him. With the aura that he has got he could be a different person but he is very grounded, very humble.

"We can go to him and he will help us out with anything he possibly can and that is priceless.

"Then he puts in performances like that (against Leicester). He is our leader, he is a role model to us all.

"If he was to go, he would be a massive loss. Hopefully it doesn't come to that.

"Liverpool without Steven Gerrard is unimaginable. Nobody wants to lose him and I'm sure the club don't as well."

Gerrard has played in a more advanced position in the last three matches and that has not only benefited him personally but the team around him.

Striker Rickie Lambert, who has started the last four matches in the absence of injured duo Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli after just three starts in as many months, believes the captain still has plenty to offer and is relishing playing alongside him.

"Some of the talk has been silly really. He is always going to come back - that is the silly thing - and he is Mr Cool in those situations," he said of Gerrard's well-taken second goal at the King Power Stadium.

"He always has been and it was a great finish. Long may it continue.

"He is not going to play every single game but that is what he can do.

"He is one of those players who can play in multiple positions and if he is closer to me it makes my game a lot easier.

"His all-round play, his vision, everything about him...when he has got the ball he will put it in the area you want.

"Obviously we are desperate to keep Stevie. It is clear it is his decision but I think he needs to stay at Liverpool for the rest of his life."


From Belfast Telegraph