Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed he had an 'honest conversation' with Jordan Henderson over a proposed transfer away from the club, but had always hoped the young midfielder would come good on Merseyside.
Henderson was signed by previous incumbent Kenny Dalglish from Sunderland in the summer of 2011 for a fee of around £16 million, but such a sizeable outlay was called into question as the player struggled to find his feet.
The following summer, Rodgers' first in charge at Anfield, saw the former Swansea boss recruit Nuri Sahin and Joe Allen to bolster his midfield options, leading to speculation that Henderson may have to make way.
Rodgers concedes that he did consider allowing Henderson to leave the club given that there were other teams interested in acquiring his services, but the manager was convinced to keep him after a frank discussion.
"I was having to trim the squad at the time. I was having to balance wages and having to get players in. I certainly did not want to push Jordan out the door," Rodgers told Sky Sports in an interview with Jamie Carragher.
"But we had a real, honest conversation towards the end of the transfer window, when a few clubs were interested in him, and from that conversation he showed me the appetite that he wanted to succeed here.
"He was willing to fight and willing to learn how I wanted to work. From that moment, both of us knuckled down."
Henderson has since flourished following the show of faith from Rodgers, with the England international starting every game in the Premier League for Liverpool this season, during which time he has provided six assists.
"I like to improve the individual player so it was also an objective of mine to help everyone but in particular this kid," Rodgers added. "From that moment on, he has grown in stature and played a really pivotal part for me."