Hansen: Henderson's time to shine

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Liverpool legend Alan Hansen believes young midfielder Jordan Henderson is capable of replacing Lucas in the heart of midfield at Anfield.

The Brazilian international is out for the rest of the season after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage in the League Cup win at Chelsea earlier in the month, and joins club captain Steven Gerrard on the sidelines at Merseyside.

Whilst the England midfielder is set to return much sooner than his teammate, the Kop idol will be nurtured gradually back to first team action under Kenny Dalglish, giving others like Henderson the chance to make a claim for regular first team football.

"I thought it would be interesting to see who Kenny puts in the centre of midfield in the absence of Lucas, Steven Gerrard and Jay Spearing. Jordan Henderson was selected and he did well," the Scot told LFC magazine.

"Ultimately, Jordan will be a central midfield player for Liverpool. He can get box-to-box quite easily because he has a great engine on him.

"People tend to forget that Henderson is only 21 because he came from an established Barclays Premier League club in Sunderland, where he played almost 100 games.

"He's just a kid. It's asking a lot of him to be at his best every time he plays, but because of the transfer fee paid there are people who have judged him too early."

Hansen went on to reveal that the one-cap international impressed him from the start of his Reds career, with a goal against Bolton showcasing his ability to add to the side's attacking output.

Recent performances have gone on to suggest he's more than capable of producing the goods during a consistent run of appearances, and the BBC pundit expects the player to appear against Aston Villa over the weekend.

"Back in August he scored a brilliant goal against Bolton. He showed what he could do that day and in the last three or four matches he has either come on and done well or started and played exceptionally well," he added.

"I wouldn't have any worries at all about Jordan Henderson stepping into central midfield. He'll ultimately play there anyway and I expect him to stay alongside Charlie Adam at Villa Park on Sunday."

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Jordan Henderson
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