The former Reds midfielder was at Anfield when an underrated performer took his first tentative steps towards becoming a key man on Merseyside
Jordan Henderson is “up there with the great Liverpool captains” and must be considered a serious contender for the 2019-20 Player of the Year award, says former Reds star Charlie Adam.
Plaudits are raining down on the Anfield skipper this season as his value finally gains widespread recognition.
Henderson has already been honoured as England’s best performer from 2019, while his efforts at club level have allowed him to get his hands on Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup crowns.
Jurgen Klopp has always found a role for the 29-year-old, despite questions often being asked of his presence, and Adam believes a hard-working midfielder is getting the praise he deserves as a Liverpool legend in the making.
The Scot told the Blood Red podcast: “Did I envisage Jordan Henderson winning the European Cup as Liverpool captain? Probably not.
“But how things have changed, and he’s become comfortable in the role and since coming in as a young lad starting out, every season he’s got better and better.
“He’s played his best football this season that he’s probably ever played.
“He’s worked his way into the role and is a terrific role-model for young kids on and off the pitch, you never see him in the press for anything wrong.”
Adam added: “You could put him up there with the great Liverpool captains over the years.
“The great captains have been able to drag Liverpool through the mire, they’re the ones who have taken on the added responsibility.
“And he’s accepted the role very well, he’s taken it in his stride and the performances he’s been producing have been incredible.
“It’s a position he takes very, very seriously and he’s getting the rewards for that.”
Adam was signed by Liverpool in the same summer as Henderson was snapped up from Sunderland, back in 2011, and admits a former team-mate has exceeded all expectations to become a key man for club and country.
He said: “When I played with him he was a young kid coming in from Sunderland.
“He was playing out of position, it was difficult for him to get into the central midfield but as time passed, his importance as part of the club evolved over the years.
“He’s a mainstay of the team now, he’s the captain. I think Liverpool are a very different team when he doesn’t play. The dynamics of the team are different, he’s very underrated.
“For me personally, I think he could be player of the year, that’s how much influence he has on the team.
“You talk about Kevin De Bruyne, you talk about Harry Kane but Jordan Henderson as an individual sets the tone and the markers for everybody else to go and play.
“He’s been terrific over the past few years and has grown into being Liverpool captain.”