At the end of the day, Liverpool bought Jordan Henderson for the long term. Both Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli saw something in the 21 year old which made them believe that spending upwards of £20million for the player was a good long term investment. Going by some people’s reactions to Henderson’s performances in the U21 Championships, you would be forgiven for thinking we had just spent a fortune on a complete dud.
Although it is from a small minority, complaining about a player’s performance after watching him for three games in a side managed by Stuart Pearce is not the best way to assess the talents of a player. I think most, like me, will hold judgement at least until the end of next season, to see how Jordan has progressed as a player.
Some of the frustration surrounding the transfer is of course the belief that we overspent, and that the money could have been put to better use on an older, proven foreign talent. Understandably there is a desire for immediate success after the trials and tribulations of the previous ownership, as well as the fact the Reds have gone 20 years without winning the league.
There is an understandable fear that now that we actually do have money, nobody wants to see us waste it on players who are not worthy of their valuation. Overpriced English players has been the theme of many a fan’s argument so far this window, and a few will pounce on the opportunity when things don’t go so well for players such as Henderson.
Immediate success maybe in many fans’ minds when they think up their list of transfer targets this summer, but for FSG , Dalglish and Comolli, a long term legacy is what is being focused on. Dalglish is trying to mould a team in his own style. For Reds fans bringing the likes of Aguero, Mata etc should be Liverpool ’s goal but Dalglish has his own way of doing things. Both Comolli and FSG know that Dalglish will command a great deal of loyalty and to make sure this project is developed for long term goals; Kenny looks to be the ideal man to carry it out with fewer dissenters and doubters surrounding Anfield.
In regards to Henderson, he is nowhere near the finished article. It is unfair to judge him on three games playing alongside Mancienne, Muamba and Welbeck rather than alongside Lucas, Gerrard and Suarez. His interaction with team mates will be totally different at club level, and he will be able to develop his game, while having greater time to get a greater understanding with his team mates.
In addition he will have Kenny Dalglish as his manager. Someone who can guide him to being a better player. He has all the attributes to do it and is certainly a Dalglish player with his passing ability and energy. Dalglish, Clarke, and the quality of players at Liverpool will make Henderson a better player, and if Kenny is any judge of a player, we will certainly have a great star in the making in the next 3 to 5 years.
Read more of David Tully’s articles at Live4Liverpool