January 28, 2021

Sambaad Patra

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‘I was in a very dark place’ – Henderson recalls when Liverpool wanted to sell him to Fulham – Goal India

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Soon after he signed from Sunderland in 2011, Jurgen Klopp’s title-winning captain found himself being offered in a swap deal away from Anfield

Liverpool’s Premier League and Champions League-winning captain Jordan Henderson says he was in “a very dark place” when the club tried to sell him to Fulham in 2012.

The England midfielder was not always so highly rated at Anfield and then-manager Brendan Rodgers wanted to use him in a swap deal for Clint Dempsey.

Henderson turned the move down and eventually became a club hero on Merseyside, but things could have worked out very differently.

“That was a difficult moment I remember very clearly,” Henderson said to the Guardian.

“We were preparing for a [Europa League qualifying] game against Hearts at Anfield. We met as normal in the hotel and I got a knock on my door saying the manager wanted to speak to us.

“To be fair to Brendan Rodgers, it was really just a conversation. It was an opportunity I didn’t want and I didn’t like. I still felt I had an awful lot to give, but I was in a very dark place at that time.”

When Jurgen Klopp arrived in 2015-16, things weren’t any easier for Henderson as he missed 19 Premier League games through a succession of injuries.

“When the manager first came, it was difficult for me because I was injured,” he said. “I kept getting niggles so it took a while to get the real me and my rhythm back.

“And then I began to play in a deeper role and that is thanks to Jurgen, because I don’t think many people would have seen how I could do that role. There were times when I wasn’t performing well. Then you would question if I was good enough.

“But I had confidence in the manager and kept working and I matured. I’m really grateful for having that opportunity because my all-round game has improved defensively and offensively.

“When we signed Fabinho, a natural defensive midfield player, I felt that was a good thing for me because I could play a little higher up. So when I had the conversation with the manager he was very open. But I don’t think he was going to play us there straight away.

“Not long afterwards I was on the bench at that Southampton game before I came on as an attacker and managed to score. I’ve matured even more since then.

“At the end of last year, I played more as a No.8, but with certain injuries I’ve had this season I’ve played a little deeper again. I feel I can contribute to both positions.”

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