It has been a rocky patch for Liverpool. On the pitch with a recent defeat to arch-rivals Manchester United, alongside a drubbing by Arsenal and an FA Cup semi-final exit to Aston Villa and off the pitch with Raheem Sterling's contract negotiations now non-existent and a growing restlessness from some Liverpool fans.
It will come as a welcome relief, therefore, that would-be captain Jordan Henderson has signed a new deal worth £100,000 a week, tying him to the club until 2020.
Henderson's story is somewhat remarkable if you think back to Henderson's first two seasons at the club where a combination of a £20million price-tag and the pressures of playing for such a big club had overwhelmed Henderson to the point that a future with the Reds seemed inconceivable. Fast forward two years, and Henderson is now the hub of the team, breaking up opposition attacks and creating chances for his team-mates, and scoring at a decent rate as well.
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He is also vice-captain, stepping in to great effect in Gerrard's numerous absences and he is the only serious contender to be named the new club captain when Gerrard departs for LA at the close of the season.
The rise of Jordan Henderson indicates the direction in which Brendan Rodgers wants Liverpool to move in. Young, vibrant, versatile and hard-working players are a clear part of Rodgers' plans, with the likes of Jordon Ibe, Raheem Sterling, Phillippe Coutinho, Emre Can and even Jon Flanagan when fit being selected on a regular basis.
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It is apparent that Rodgers wants to blood these players whilst young, let them learn from mistakes and eventually develop them into a team capable of challenging for honours for years to come.
Henderson is perhaps the most absolute demonstration of this and the perfect template from which to develop others who find themselves in a similar position to Henderson a couple of years ago, and if Rodgers can produce more of a similar mould to Henderson it'ss hard to iagine many Liverpool fans still showing signs of unrest.
it is very fitting, therefore, that Henderson will embody the philosophy of the club as captain come the start of next season.
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