By Tobias Robinson
Liverpool made a major statement of intent at the start of the summer, spending close to £20m ($32.3m) on the Sunderland Midfielder, Jordan Henderson.
At just 20, Jordan Henderson is seen as one of the brightest prospects in England, and was noted as a ‘young player to watch in 2011’ by FIFA. The midfielder made his EPL debut for Sunderland in November 2008 and went on to make 79 appearances for the club.
England coach Fabio Capello was so impressed with the form of young Henderson during the early part of the 2010/11 campaign, that he was called up to represent the Senior England team in November 2010 and made his full international debut in the friendly versus France.
At the start of 2011 however, Henderson suffered a dip in form which coincided with his club side also beginning to struggle. He was quick to brush off rumours of fatigue, but he was also named in England’s unsuccessful Under-21 squad for the Championship in Denmark, where again, he looked weary and below his best.
Liverpool will be keen to let the young starlet fully recuperate over the summer and hope that when he returns for pre-season, he can rediscover the early season form that won him so many admirers.
Liverpool have also been linked with numerous other big name signings in the last few weeks. Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Connor Wickham have all been linked with big money moves to Anfield, but Henderson remains the only new face so far.
In terms of exits from the club, Liverpool announced they had released 6 reserve team players – Steve Irwin, Nikola Saric, Jason Banton, Deale Chamberlain, Alex Cooper and Sean Highdale. These were players who failed to make an impact on the first team and the Reds have decided to let them go.
Midfielder Maxi Rodriguez has also hinted at an exit from Anfield (writes Gordon Tynan at the Independent). The Argentine is hoping to return to his hometown club, Newell’s Old Boys. Manager Kenny Dalglish would prefer to keep Rodriguez who finished the season in blistering goal-scoring form – bagging two hat-tricks in the final month of the campaign.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is desperate for the Reds to be competing for the title again after a season as ‘also rans’. Neil Johnston writes for www.fanhouse.co.uk that Gerrard is “anxious” to discover who else Liverpool will be bringing in, as well as Henderson, to help the club win trophies again, and potentially draw level with bitter rivals Manchester United on 19 EPL titles.
Jordan Henderson – The Sunderland midfielder comes with a hefty price tag but is widely tipped to have a big future, and Liverpool signed him ahead of many other interested clubs.
Sotirios Kyrgiakos – Not necessarily a ‘new’ signing (the Greece international has spent the last two seasons at Liverpool) but his two year deal expired in June – he has however, made enough appearances to trigger an automatic extension, so Kyrgiakos has signed for another year.
Reserve team players; Steve Irwin, Nikola Saric, Jason Banton, Deale Chamberlain, Alex Cooper and Sean Highdale. These players had not forced their way into the first team and have been released.