Liverpool and Henderson: harden our hearts and make them pay

Image: addick-tedKevin


Can it really be true that this may be one of the last times we have reason to use our friend addick-tedKevin‘s Jordan graphic? It could be no more than idle speculation, but there is a worryingly credible look to it …

For months we have had to endure hot air about Sir Alex Ferguson, Roberto Mancini or Arsène Wenger planning a seat on their substitute benches for our gifted young midfielder, with our own feelings soothed by protestations on his behalf that he is happy at Sunderland. And now the Daily Mail confidently reports that Jordan Henderson’s most likely destination is Anfield.

Firstly, I have nothing much against Liverpool. This is a club that, within living memory, has provided great entertainment to neutrals as well as Scousers. But recent years of gross under-achievement, one pulsating Champions’ League final comeback apart, have made it necessary for that memory to be capable of stretching back quite a while.

Does Jordan Henderson seriously believe it would be such a grand move for him? The Mail says Liverpool are “closing in on a deal” to sign him “after lining up a £13million bid”. Amid all that sportswriting waffle and hype may be a germ of truth.

Someone seems to be briefing the Mail on this one. “The 20-year-old has told close friends he would prefer a move to Anfield after Liverpool made a formal approach” … a deal “is being held up by what one source described as a ‘ridiculous’ asking price believed to be in the region of £20m” … “but Henderson could be a Liverpool player by the time he returns from England duty at the European Under-21 Championships in Denmark later this month”. We no longer don’t want to lose him; we just don’t want to lose him cheaply.

It may be true that once a player’s head is turned, he is as good as out of the door. There may be nothing we can do to stop Jordan’s departure sooner rather than later. He may even think Liverpool are on the brink breaking back into the top three – or four, or five – and are not simply intoxicated by their own impressive history.

But if all that is so, then £20m – as I have said here before – is no bad place to pitch our asking price, much as most of us would prefer to hang on to such a rare example of homegrown, club-nurtured talent. In fact, I’d go further and take a good look at the Liverpool squad and decide whose move in the other direction should be a non-negotiable part of any sale, at which point the £13m knockdown price could even begin, depending on which player was involved, to look less insulting. Supporters of either club can offer their own suggestions.

Sunderland should be, as things stand, a buying club, not a selling one. There does need to be clear-out but the greater priority from a footballing perspective must be strengthening a loan-heavy squad that has shown itself vulnerable to key absences.

We need only look back to January for proof of that. A pot of gold in the bank for Mr Bent did us a fat lot of good. And another pot of gold for Jordan Henderson would be as meaningless if we did not, unlike back then, have someone very good lined up to arrive at the SoL.

Monsieur Salut

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24 thoughts on “Liverpool and Henderson: harden our hearts and make them pay”

  1. Nice one Sobs. While Miliband may be associated with us, his heart lies under the red flag of the Gunners unfortunately!

    He is now a loyal member of the opposition on both counts.

  2. Jeremy – we now have young Milliband on our side. Surely he’ll get the red flag flying over football again?

    (ouch, just bit my tongue while it was in my cheek just then!)

    One day, just maybe……

  3. Unfortunately Sobs, the reality is that apart from the top 6 the rest of us might just as well pack up and go home. The Premier League cartel has been shown to be a huge success. Keep the majority of the money at the top. The Tory party is running the PL.

  4. This is a great thread. Well done M.Salut for attracting such a great set of postings to add fuel to the debate.

    Particularly pertinent points from Adam and Tgan I thought about signing players that have a resale value, and also the points about Dalglish’s ability to nurture players. Dalglish is not only a good manager when it comes to team affairs, but has a tremendous ability to get the best out of the individuals he’s dealing with. Apart from his signing of Des Hamilton when at Newcastle he’s a shrewd judge of ability. He must see something in Henderson which I do not. I firmly believe that Henderson’s ability and value are ludicrously inflated because he is a local lad. Had that not been the case then the hyperbole would have been virtually nil. He has produced some awful performances this season which have outweighed the good by several to one. If he is going to leave and go to Liverpool then best of luck to him. His education will continue and he will benefit from the tutelage of Mr Dalglish without any question. Mr Bruce has failed to get the best out of Henderson as a player in my view as he has been played out of position consistently to accomodate the terrible Egyptian that Mr Bruce insists on parading before us down the right flank, where Henderson is most comfortable.

  5. if we want to get anywhere as a club, we need to keep players like Henderson. Why let him go and to develop his football education elsewhere? Under Dalglish, at the “new” (back to the good old) Liverpool, he would undoubtedly learn a lot, but let’s keep the lad and have him develop into a really good player with us. If the only way for good prospects to mature into really ood players is to sell them to “big” clubs, then all of us outside the top six might as well pack up and go home. What would we get for the fee received? A really big-name, established player who’d bugger off in a year leaving us worse off than before, or a handful of second-rate mercenaries whod’ hang around until their agent found them a bigger wage in Russia?
    If Jordan goes, I’ll watch his career with interest, but, as with Colin Todd (although we needed the money back then), we can’t be selling our best players and expect sustained progress.
    If he goes, let’s hope it’s not a Chris Turner, where, as the best keeper at Man U at teh time, he spent his saturdays in teh reserves – wasted.
    and REDSHADOW – why all the CAPITAL letters? “Because THE most likely kind OF person TO answer THIS sort OF advertisement HAS less trouble under-STANDING words if they ARE written in BIG letters”

  6. Feel sorry for Jovanovic, yes the leagues are a class apart but he was great for Standard and probably would succeed elsewhere on the continent in Italy for example, just not in the Premier League.

    Regarding Henderson. Well, if he does go and the transfer is amicable (they are few and far between these days) then I won’t mind as much. A fair price and as long as there’s no tapping up or agent games. Let’s say they table £12m, we negotiate to £13-15m, he signs a contract and goes, great. End of story and all the best to him.

    If he stomps his feet saying he’s always supported Liverpool, it’s his dream and destiny and wants to improve his England chances and will sit out the remainder of his contract in the reserves unless he’s sold – then it’s a different emotion. One, obvioiusly, I can not see Henderson taking (and of course he is a Man Utd fan).

    If he does go, then all the best to him, he’s a good player, great perhaps at times. I’ll be disappointed not to be able to watch him at the Stadium of Light anymore but I wouldn’t begrudge him a move if he thinks it will improve his career in the long term, I just hope if he does move he gets the chance and his development isn’t stifled.

    All the best.

  7. Don’t know about Shelvey but mention of Spearing got short shrift in this comment at not606:

    “Spearing would be sent off for us almost every week – he is a dirtly little player (with undoubted ability) but no different to Cattermole and for SAFC he wouldn’t get away with it for us. (also when he falls down outside the box he probably wouldn’t even get a free-kick for us let alone a penalty!!)

    Spearing has only done it for a dozen or so games – hasn’t proven anything as yet and isn’t the quality we need in our side – Henderson I believe will stay and will go on to be a much better player once we have the players around him to back him up and allow him the rest he’s going to need to avoid burnout”

    Nice try re Jovanovic. How much would you pay us to take him?

  8. Im sorry but Spearing is highly rated as is Shelvey, no way will Liverpool let either leave. They are the lads who have huge futures at the club, how about Jovanovic?????

  9. Someone at the Sunderland pages of not606 was clinging to that old quote from Jordan’s dad

    “Brian Henderson, Jordan’s father and adviser, said: ‘Jordon sees his future at Sunderland, 100 per cent, and WMG completely understand that. In my experience an agent only does what a player wants him to do.”

    But as I have pointed out there, it may have been true when he said it, but commitment is a moveable feast in football and I wouldn’t base any hopes on it. We made a complete mess of the Bent transfer and I will be fuming if we repeat that idiocy.

    In that context, the amount of money is almost academic. The simple test should be: Henderson stays until we have a proper replacement lined up, something we abysmally failed to insist on with Bent. One Liverpool fan above suggested a deal giving us loan of Shelvey or Spearing in part exchange, but we need proper signings not more loans. £17m + Spearing?

  10. All this talk of developing Henderson yes he can improve but i reckon he is already a very good player.
    I am a Liverpool fan and would like very much to see him at Anfield, but i find it a bit sad for clubs like Sunderland who are beginning to make a mark lose their better talent to the larger clubs.

  11. I think this is a game we’re playing. Like the Sir Bacon Face with us and Charlie Adam, trying to bump the price up by claiming his corners alone were worth 10m. I genuinely cant see where he’ll get in to the team if we sign adam too. I think it’s just games so the dirty mancs pay above and beyond what they’re gonna offer.

  12. Pete:

    I agree totally he is useless, I reckon we will bomb him to West Ham. I hope you Sundeland fans understand that Liverpool will show you the respect you deserve!!!!. The real Liverpool is back in business off-the pitch……….watch this space!!!!

  13. Please don’t offer us Joe Cole; the most overrated footballer I have come across in 50 years of watching the game.
    Gettit|? Gottit? Good!!!

  14. Henderson will have a good education at Liverpool with Kenny, FSG only want young fit-top talent with a re-sale value and Henderson is that. Liverpool are pushing through top talent from our academy but this lad is class.

    Have no worries about his future, he will be well looked after, look at the cash from Bent and Henderson?. Liverpool are going to be very strong over the next few years and our recent history is still excellent and i won’t bore you with it!

    Sunderland is a big club and i wish you all the best next season!!!!

  15. Barton hasn’t signed a pre contract agreement with us so NO idea where you got THAT one from.

    As to Henderson? A good PROSPECT yes and one of the closer players I’ve seen to a young Gerrard in recent years – Everyone thinks Spearing in our current team is Already that but he’s not – He plays more like Didi Hamman used to with tackles and short passes whilst Lucas is Finally growing into the Alonso replacement he was always MEANT to be (and now with Shelvey breathing down His Own neck?); This all leaves? No long-term replacement for Gerrard other than the Injury prone Raul Meireles and with the Homegrown rules and Financial laws coming up? Then yes, this transfer WOULD fit Fenways strategy for Liverpool but 20 million?

    Well I’d say since most half decent strikers in recent years like Bent, Robbie Keane and Torres TO Liverpool have cost that along with not a few ESTABLISHED midfielders? I.e. Carrick, Aquilani, Hargreaves and Gareth Barry to name not a few? I think that 20 million for an as-yet talented Prospect? Is a little TO steep and IF this deal is to go through? My personal belief is the FINAL fee agreed will more than likely end up being somewhere in the region of 14 – 18 million which would be a MORE than reasonable price for someone who is as yet don’t forget a very rough diamond;

    Myself? I doubt VERY much that Fenway will allow themselves to be mugged in the Transfer Market just to assuage Sunderland’s wounded pride over their Own undervaluing of their best striker by a Mile back in January (and before you cite Carroll? We NEEDED a striker then to replace Torres and partner Suarez – We WANT Henderson but don’t HAVE to have him – There is a Big difference in the two); Either way? I suspect we’ll see soon enough no doubt. Time will tell on this one – Sooner or later? Time WILL tell………….

    NB Just a word on us? We’re NOT “intoxicated” with our “impressive history” as it were; Don’t forget. Only Two seasons ago – The guts of This squad along with some Very impressive additions sadly long since sold to pay the debt of a pair of eventually doomed cowboys? Finished as the League’s Runners up with a points total of 86 that would have absolutely BLITZED the League Title This season just gone by at least 6 points. Also we had THE most impressive record v the Top sides of ANY team in the country in head to heads last season beating Man City, Chelsea (twice), Man United and taking points off Arsenal twice.

    On top of this; We went on a run from January with a side THAT close to a relegation fight with only 5 defeats in as many months after something like 10 In the preceding 6 months under Hodgson and our form until a fortnight before the end when we FINALLY ran out of gas after being super-charged for so long? Was almost a match for that of the team that CRAWLED over the line in first position in the end so? Yes I think we Can safely say that with THAT sort of management from the Start next season? There’s a Distinct possibility we might achieve something – What that is mind? Is anybody’s guess……………………..

    NBB: I think a move to us – IF it is what the King has in mind? Would be good for Henderson for TWO reasons – Firstly he’d be playing under a manager who is THE closest thing you will get to Alex Ferguson Outside of Old Trafford and we all know what His personal record is like for developing youngsters And bringing success in tandem no? Well having won 4 league titles in England (including a Double) 2 FA Cups and numerous Charity Shields? NO other manager bar Ferguon has won MORE who is managing currently in the PL than Kenny & that includes Wenger; Therefore, the Scot most certainly knows what he is doing when it comes to football and would be a Great teacher for young Jordan.

    Secondly; It would also be good for him to ‘grow up’ professionally as it were in an environment where the ‘Old’ Liverpool ways are gradually being brought back – You know? The ones that made the club resemble an English Barcelona to United’s Real Madrid back in the day? The ones that brought it unprecedented success at the time? (Scouting unheralded or unspotted players and turning them into superstars as part of a side that wins so often and so Much it can only be described as a Machine – Playing youngsters when they’re good enough and having a British backbone to the side; Playing passing football but with an English bite to it and the ability to ‘mix’ styles as well – Actually All of this sounds like a certain Other club not to far from us no? And you all wonder just WHERE Ferguson got his current sides’ and their blueprints FROM? Think about it) Anyway; rants aside, I think Kenny is the Only man who managed Liverpool under THAT system still alive, never mind in work and you’d better believe he’ll bring that system back which can only be good for young players like Henderson.

    Finally? Henderson would have as close as you can get to guaranteed playing time at Anfield now that our glorious leader and Captain is on the wane playing wise and no obvious replacement (which Henderson might Be!!!) is in sight. All young players want and NEED developmental time accorded to them via playing hard games with goals and targets In the league rather than reserve football no? Such a move Would give Henderson that time in our side as Dalglish wouldn’t hesitate to play him if he thought it appropriate as shown already in the cases of Jack Robinson, John Flanagan, Martin Kelly and Jay Spearing to name but 4 and as a few more of our Academy Super Squad will no doubt show next season. So yes, a move for Henderson from us? COULD be good all round for both clubs & the player concerned; WILL it be though? Well, I think Only time will tell on that one……………..

  16. Keith Hutton;

    You are having a laigh. There is no way on gods clean earth, Barton is going anywhere near Liverpool Football Club. Whoever has told you that & where ever you have read about are both totally wide of the mark. Joey Barton will not be signing for Liverpool. If anything, nmore likely the bitter if he leaves Newcastle.

    As for Jordan, Liverpool have been trailing this lad for months. United were said to be the ones who would put hurdles in the way of the move, but as they are skint & in dire need of strengthening elsewhere, Jordans move there will not happen. He will move to Liverpool & I hope, beach balls aside, Sunderland get a good price & re-invest the money for their squad & fans; whilst Liverpool get a cracking young prospect.

    Either way, apart from the two times we play you next season (which is always a pleasure – beach balls aside!) I wish Sunderland the best of luck for the 2011/12 season.

    P.S – One thing i totally agreed with is if there are any players Stevey Bruce & Sunderland want of ours, sure thing – ask they be added to the deal, so long as its not a player who is key to our future plans.

  17. Do we need the money? We have the Bent money to spend and maybe a bit more. I do believe at 20M it is a good deal and it is also reported that Barton has already sign an agreement with Liverpool so maybe we can look at an exchange, but let him go nowhere until we have a better replacement signed

  18. I think around £15 mil would be fair. When you consider the minimal risk involved. I’m a Liverpool fan and I think to the risk we took with Aquilani. An injury prone player (who was injured when we bought him) who couldn’t adjust to the Prem’s pace.
    This lad is younger, has played in the Prem and acquitted himself superbly and looks like he wants to learn.
    I think a if we could buy him and loan Shelvey or Spearing to Sunderland for a Season, that would represent a good piece of business. Just as long as we don’t end up with *shudders* Joey bloody Barton!

  19. Over time, as a Liverpool supporter, I’m getting a bit dismayed by how players “have their heads turned” by clubs that, in all honesty, don’t seem to offer so much more than where a player is currently contracted. I like the idea that Liverpool is well recognised, we have a great history and we’re usually in or around champions league football blah blah blah. In my mind only two things are valid for a player to consider: European football and competing for actual titles. Let’s use the spanish interpretation of “titles” which also includes cups. So if this young gent believes Liverpool are his chance to get those two things then, fair enough, go for it. We’ll be happy to have him and he won’t rot on the bench under Dalglish’s system. But I do hope he’s thinking it through and not just joining a club based on reputation. Otherwise, in terms of day to day premiership football, it makes no sense to me that he’d be happier at Liverpool instead of Sunderland. Exactly what aspect of the football itself i.e. the training and the 90 minutes on the pitch each week will really be that different? Sunderland have certainly had their moments in recent seasons, they’re turning into a bloody good football team and surely the point of being a football player is just that: play with a good team, produce good football, compete and just bloody well enjoy it and get your head of the clouds.
    Anyway, bit of a rant there. Get as much for this lad as he’s worth, our owners can afford it. I hope you then get to spend the profits on building a better team.

  20. Hello, i like Hendersons good stats, i ave not seen him play but you can ave 13million, poulsen, konchesky, cole, jovanovic a packet of crisps and some returned hub caps for him?

    Yours sincerely,

    D. Comolli

  21. I too am a Liverpool Supporter, and have to say this is one of the best pieces written by an opposing supporter that I have read.
    I do sympathise with your predicament as a Sunderland supporter, in terms of being deemed a ‘selling club’, but as Mish wrote, £20 mil in the bank is a nice sweetner to the bitter taste his departure would leave in Sunderland supporters mouths.
    As you mentioned, Liverpool’s ambitions are to get back into the top 4 minimum, and this is championed by the owners who are willing to drive this ambition….largely because they know their investment will start to reAp dividends as a result.
    Henderson fits the profile of player that the owners, Commoli and Dalglish have set out to attract- young, gifted, and English.
    Fortunately for us, the history that you mentioned means that a move to Liverpool is still an attractive proposition, for a young player, even without ChMions League football, as they know that Chamoons League football is an achievable goal at Liverpool.
    As for Sunderland, I have to say that I enjoyed watching your games this season, and despite a poor run in to the end of the season, there were also alot of promising signs of what potential lies in the Red and White side of the Northeast.
    As long as the money for Henderson is invested into the team, then £20 mil profit on a 20 year old will be a good piece of business, both financially and on the playing side.
    I do hope we get Henderson, as he is a tremendous English talent….maybe a Joe Cole plus £13 mil would be good for Sunderland, as you then have cash to play with as well as a full England international replacement with bags of experience…?
    Thanks for the article

  22. As a Liverpool supporter, I found my way over here because of this reported interest and I found your article interesting and, from a subjective point of view, bang on the money.

    We’re looking at young players because of our new owners transfer strategy and under Dalglish they’ll definitely get the tutelage and opportunity they need to further themselves as sportsmen.

    It’s a shame that a club and its loyal supports are pushed into these positions by big-money offers but I genuinely believe the future’s bright again at Anfield and if Sunderland can bank a few quid into the bargain, that’s a good thing, surely?

  23. Liverpool’s a damn sight closer to breaking back into the top 3 than we are. And if Jordan Henderson wants to go and Sunderland compels him to stay, then what are we going to get out of him? Not his best efforts, that’s for sure. Homegrown, club-nurtured talent is a very fine thing, indeed, if you can hold onto it. But the money to be made elsewhere is too big and too tempting not to turn a 20-year-old head.
    This, alas, is one of the reasons why Sunderland seems destined to remain exactly where it is for the foreseeable future, running hard just to avoid sliding downhill. Rather than building a team, we’re simply rebuilding, over and over, with an ever-changing pile of “bricks,” few of whom start out with much of a commitment to the club and even fewer who are given the time and motivation to develop a commitment. As soon as a player starts showing real promise, another club starts flashing its bankroll. That, of course, is apart from the players who are bought, or borrowed, and then kept on the bench and never allowed to show what they might be capable of before they’re shoved back into the revolving door. Throwing good money after bad, I believe this is called.

  24. Please note that although Salut! Sunderland welcomes all points of view, if expressed without abuse or defamation, the comments of first-timers posters may be delayed for moderation, mainly as an anti-spamming filter.

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