Jordan Henderson goes from flop to favourite

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We all love the story of the underdog. Whether it is underdogs winning trophies, football’s biggest minnows knocking Premier League opposition out of the cup, or just your everyday Sunday League upset, the appeal still remains.

But what about some of the Premier League's biggest players?

Surely they have been adored since the day they set foot on the pitch? No, that is not the case, and there are some players that have gone from zero to hero in their careers.

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Take Jordan Henderson for example. He is set to sign a £100,000-a-week deal with Liverpool and has been touted as their future captain. Not bad for a player who was once branded a Sunderland reject. 

As a result of Henderson's unbelievable turn around, here is GiveMeSport's top five Premier League flops to favourites.

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5. Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud has not had it all his own way during his time with Arsenal and has regularly had called into question his suitability to the lead the line of such a prominent club.

The Frenchman isn't the most technically gifted on the ball, so needs to rely on his goalscoring to keep his fans and manager happy. 

But when the goals weren't flying in for the Frenchman, transfer talk regarding his future increased. It was only last summer that when the £9.6million striker broke his leg, reports linked Birmingham City's lanky striker Nikola Zigic with a move to the club, a rather embarrassing development for Giroud.

But this season Giroud has excelled. 18 goals in 27 appearances for the Gunners have pushed Arsenal to second in the Premier League, and one game away from FA Cup glory.

4. Francis Coquelin

The young Frenchman looked like he would be just another young Arsenal failure. So many youngsters come in and out of academy and, when Coquelin was struggling to get a game at Championship outfit Charlton before Christmas, people doubted his Arsenal future.

But what about now?

The 23-year-old midfielder has turned his Arsenal career around and has become an integral figure in the squad.

He played arguably his best game in an Arsenal shirt in their 2-0 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in January, where pundits dubbed him as ‘Arsenal’s future’. 

3. David de Gea

David de Gea had massive boots to fill when he arrived at Manchester United in 2011. With the retirement of club legend Edwin van Der Sar, Sir Alex Ferguson needed a player to replace the legendary Dutchman between the sticks.

But the beginning of his career was over-run by blips and errors that led many to question the young Spaniard's ability.

But as he grew, De Gea learned from his errors and a heroic performance in United’s 3-2 aggregate win over Olympiakos in 2014 led to De Gea being crowned the club’s player of the year.

He has enjoyed another memorable campaign this season and is line to win the PFA players' player of the year. Not bad going.

2. Gareth Bale

There was a time (believe it or not) when everyone thought Gareth Bale was just a bit rubbish.

Martin Jol had spent £5 million to bring Bale to the club and he struggled to settle in. His struggles meant he was increasingly linked with moves away and, in 2009, he was strongly linked with a move to Championship strugglers Birmingham City.

But Bale quickly moved on from these rumours and regular starts and a switch from left-back to left-wing saw the Welshman quickly instil himself as Premier League favourite.

Huge performances in the 2010-2011 season led to Bale being awarded the PFA player of the year award, and it was in 2013 when he became the most expensive player in the world, moving to Real Madrid for £85.3 million.

1. Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson is on the brink of becoming Liverpool’s new club captain, and signing a new £100,000-a-week deal. A far cry from the midfielder who was considering his future following the arrival of Brendan Rodgers.

A difficult first season in the 2011-2012 season saw Henderson slide down the pecking order at the club. At the beginning of the 2012-2013 season, Rodgers told Henderson that he could join Fulham if he wished.

And what a decision by the England international. Through hard work and perseverance, Henderson honed his game under Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, and quickly became vice-captain of the club.

Now, as Gerrard leaves the club after a marvellous career, it could be Henderson that becomes the next club legend.

That is why we make Jordan Henderson our biggest Premier League flop to favourite.

Who do you think has gone from zero to hero in their career? Leave your comments below...

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Premier League
David de Gea
Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur
Francis Coquelin
Jordan Henderson
Gareth Bale

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