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|Birthday||June 17, 1990|
Jordan Henderson completed his meteoric rise from Sunderland benchwarmer to £16 million Liverpool midfielder when Kenny Dalglish paid top dollar to lure him away from Wearside in June 2011. Just two years earlier, Henderson had been recuperating after a broken metatarsal cut short a loan spell at Championship side Coventry, but after battling back from injury and breaking into the Sunderland first-team, the midfielder’s reputation began to grow.
He became a regular fixture for the Wearsiders from November 2009 onwards and an impressive display in a 4-3 defeat to Manchester City – in which he scored one and created another – underlined his status as a potential star of the future. He continued to develop and emerged as Sunderland’s best player in the 2010-11 season, pulling the strings and creating goals aplenty for his team-mates. Reports of interest from Manchester United and Liverpool soon arrived and it was the Merseysiders who eventually followed it through at the end of the campaign.
At international level, Henderson had scored six goals in six games for England before this summer’s European Under-21 Championship, proving prolific for the Young Lions, though he has struggled to find the net with any regularity at club level. A debut for Fabio Capello’s senior side came against France in November as a reward for his consistent showings for Sunderland.
Strengths: Excellent delivery from set-pieces and in open play and a fantastic football brain; he is equally as dangerous when advancing with the ball at his feet
Weaknesses: As yet unproven at the highest level and Kenny Dalglish will also be hoping the midfielder can add more goals to his game; four strikes in 71 Premier League games for Sunderland was not a great return.
Career high: Winning his first full England cap against France at Wembley.
Career low: With the media spotlight on him, Henderson failed to produce any performances of note at the European Under-21 Championship as England crashed out at the group stage.
Style: A playmaker whose ability to create goals for others has made him a real creative asset.
Quotes: “Jordan is very mature for his age. He is respectful and his principles and everything else on and off the pitch are exemplary. Not only is he a talented footballer, he’s a really good person as well. He loves his football and he is very appreciative of what Sunderland have done for him.” Kenny Dalglish, June 2011.
Trivia: Henderson was responsible for creating 82 goalscoring opportunities for his team-mates in 2010-11 – 39 more than any of his team-mates and the fourth best total in the Premier League.