Jordan Henderson, it’s safe to say, has silenced all of his doubters over the past couple of years.
There was even a point, back in 2012, when Liverpool themselves had doubts over the midfielder.
Brendan Rodgers famously wanted to swap Henderson for Fulham’s Clint Dempsey but, fortunately for the Reds, the deal failed to materialise.
"That was a crucial period in my career, not only my Liverpool career,” Henderson explained in 2019.
“I thought that moment was big, and it was a tough moment, but one that I feel helped me, looking back now.
“I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t have that moment. It was tough at the time but thankfully it worked out okay in the end.
“To be fair to Brendan, he was brilliant with me after that point; he helped me grow as a player and as a person, and I really matured under him.
“It was a blessing in disguise really.”
Henderson has now cemented his status as a Liverpool legend after captaining the Reds to Premier League, Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup glory.
He’s a firm fan favourite at Anfield and was deservedly crowned the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year on Friday.
Henderson has also earned the respect of the wider football community, including those football fans who once mocked him.
Comedian Jack Whitehall fell into this category - and one of his jokes from 2012 has aged very badly.
Addressing Steven Gerrard on ‘A League of Their Own’, Whitehall says to Gerrard: “You have a hotel named after you. In Indonesia there’s a guy who’s a massive fan of Liverpool, he opened a hotel called ‘The Stevie G Hotel’.
“I tried to book a room there and they were fully booked, so I had to stay in one down the road which wasn’t nearly as good called ‘The Hotel Jordan Henderson’.”
Although the audience laughed, Gerrard was not amused. He reacted by wagging his finger of Whitehall’s direction.
The newly-edited video then shows Arsenal (Whitehall’s team) tenth in the table following their recent defeat to Aston Villa, followed by Henderson lifting the Premier League trophy at Anfield.
Watch the video here…
Gerrard has always been very supportive of Henderson and happily passed the captain’s armband to the former Sunderland star after leaving Anfield in 2015.
“It's no surprise to me how he's handling himself on and off the pitch,” Gerrard told BT Sport, per the Daily Mail, earlier this year.
“Obviously, I played with him for numerous years with Liverpool and England. A very fit, athletic boy who's selfless in his approach on the pitch, puts everyone else above himself.
“When you play alongside him you appreciate the job he does for the team and I think over the years he's been developing parts of his game. His passing range now is fantastic.
“He's always there for the team. I've watched him grow as a human being with interest – he's always been a great lad and a great team-mate.
“It's no surprise now that people are starting to recognise what a man he is, both on and off the pitch. Every bit of praise he gets he deserves it because it’s true, and I can guarantee that because I've been alongside him.”
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