Liverpool have been handed a boost ahead of their looming Merseyside derby fixture against Everton on Saturday. Jordan Henderson put in a solid performance for England on Sunday during their surprise Nations League victory over Belgium.
Gareth Southgate’s side emerged victorious after a hard-earned 2-1 win came in their favour. He opted to started Henderson after leaving him out of the squad for their recent friendly against Wales, and he certainly didn’t disappoint. The Liverpool captain played 66 minutes for the Three Lions – his first competitive match in almost a full month.
Due to injuries, Henderson has made just six appearances for both club and country since the start of July. Liverpool have missed his influence in the middle of the park, particularly in their most recent league defeat against Aston Villa.
Whilst Henderson may not always get himself on the scoresheet or notch up an assist, he quietly commands calmness by pulling the strings in the middle of the park. Similarly against Belgium, the 30-year-old maintained an 87% pass rate, made two key passes and won the penalty that Marcus Rashford tucked away for the equaliser. He also contributed one block, one interception and won 100% of his attempted duels (via Sofascore).
Saturday’s match will be Henderson’s 20th encounter of Everton across all competitions and will mark his 15th Merseyside derby (via Transfermarkt). One man Jurgen Klopp will be eager to deploy against this strong Toffees side is his captain. The Reds desperately need to get back into their groove after conceding seven goals the last time out. Henderson will help keep the Liverpool midfield strong and avoid being exploited by their bitter Merseyside rivals.
The £25.2million-valued skipper has been out of action with a knee injury picked up just before Liverpool were crowned Premier League champions for the first time. Whilst main title competition Manchester City are still behind the Reds in the table, Klopp will need this boost to ensure the Villa nightmare is just a blip on the radar.
After hailing him as an “exceptional player” in a recent interview, it’s clear that the German relies heavily on Henderson’s influence within the team.