Belfast Telegraph

Kenny Dalglish's got faith in slow-starter Henderson but hasn’t found best role yet

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson could be given a second chance to impress quicker than he may have expected as manager Kenny Dalglish contemplates his recall.

The England Under-21 international was dropped to the bench for the Reds' biggest two matches of the season — the trip to Everton and the visit of Manchester United — in the last fortnight.

After a less-than-comfortable start to life at Anfield following a £16million move from Sunderland the youngster was taken out of the firing line by Dalglish

The 21-year-old had started Liverpool's first six Barclays Premier League matches, although he was kept involved by the Scot as two appearances off the bench ensured he has featured in every league game so far.

Lucas Leiva serves a one-match suspension for the visit of Norwich today having already accumulated five yellow cards and that gives Henderson a chance to reclaim his starting place.

Despite being the first of the summer signings to score for his new club at the end of August Henderson has yet to find his feet — and a position which suits.

Even Dalglish admits he does not where to play him but he gave a glimpse of his true potential in an eventful 30-minute cameo against United with one dipping volley acrobatically saved by David de Gea and a glancing header just over, with both coming from an advanced central position.

“I don't know his best position yet — but I know his best club and that's this one,” said Dalglish.

“We just want him to play and enjoy playing. He's a talented footballer with a great future in front of him and we are just delighted he chose to come here.

“He'll be here for a long, long time and he's going to be a tremendous asset for us. He's got patience too.

“He's a good player who knows what is required. He's a young boy who has come down from Sunderland and is starting to settle in really well now.

“He's another option for us in midfield this weekend. I've just got to make the right decision.

“We know Lucas can't play. He's suspended but we'll just have to cover it as best as we can.”

Henderson is working hard in order to give himself the best chance of winning back his first team place, often staying behind after training to fine-tune areas of his game, like finishing.

“I want to become a much better player, improve every day, keep working hard and learn from the players around me,” he said.

“I'm very appreciative of where I am today but I still want more. There are a lot more things I want to achieve.

“I don't get carried away with it

but also I want to strive for more and keep that hunger going.

“I am not really fussed about where I play, I just want to play football and wherever I'm put I'll play — but obviously I like to play in the middle.”

That the absence of the defensive midfielder is anything resembling a talking point shows the great strides Lucas has made.

His trials and tribulations when he arrived from Gremio for £5million in 2007 are well documented.

He quickly became a target for fans who berated him for not being of the required quality and perceived him as a pet favourite of then manager Rafael Benitez.

Lucas was just 20 when he arrived but after a difficult start he has matured into a key player for Liverpool.

“He's done his job fantastically well and since I came in he's been as good as anyone,” added Dalglish. “We are delighted with the rewards he is getting on the pitch and if the fans can recognise what he is doing then that is obviously helpful to him. He's been fantastic for us and it will be a miss but he'll serve his game and it's up to us to overcome that.”

Belfast Telegraph


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