Jordan Henderson has been one of the most impressive discoveries of this season. The 19-year-old midfielder has broken into the Sunderland first-team and is progressing at a remarkable rate under Steve Bruce’s tutelage.
Henderson actual made his Sunderland debut last season when he came on as a half-time substitute against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in October. A week after his debut Henderson made his first senior start in the Carling Cup against Blackburn. The youngster spent the second half of last season on loan at Coventry City where he did well before breaking a bone in his foot.
This season the injury to Lee Cattermole gave Henderson an opportunity to impress in the first-team. Though he is perhaps more comfortable on the right of midfield, he has acquitted himself well in the centre of midfield and has shown that not only is he skilful, he has the determination and strength to succeed in the middle of the park. He has established himself as an important part of Sunderland’s midfield this season in his 17 league appearances and this fine form culminated with his goal against Manchester City during the 4-3 thriller. Henderson’s progress was rewarded in October when he signed a four-year deal with the Black Cats.
Henderson’s fine form has not gone noticed and he is likely to be selected in Stuart Pearce’s next under-21 squad; more excitingly it is rumoured that Fabio Capello’s scouts have also noted the youngster’s performances and he may be in line for a shock call-up for friendly against Egypt in March.
Sunderland have been poor of late, but they are still very much a club on the up and it would be no surprise to see them finish in the top ten at the end of the season. Their progress has been built around a hard-working side propelled by the goals of Darren Bent. Jordan Henderson’s emergence over the first-half of the season gives them another dimension and he provides the same drive as Lee Cattermole but with more quality on the ball. If he continues to progress as he has been; Sunderland will have a real gem of a player on their hands and one that they could struggle to keep a hold of.