When Steve Bruce said back in February that the worst thing that could happen to Jordan Henderson would be to leave Sunderland, football betting punters would have presumably banked on the youngster staying another season at the club.
Four months on however, and the 20-year-old is on the verge of completing a £20 million move to Liverpool; a deal which his agent will no doubt view as akin to him winning the football pools.
The dynamic midfielder was an almost ever-present last season for the Black Cats, making 37 league appearances and scoring three goals in the process. Sir Alex Fergusson was even rumoured to have been sniffing around Wearside for a deal, although it now seems Kenny Dalglish has beaten him to it.
But what will the move mean to those betting on football next season? Liverpool are currently available at 10/1 to win next season’s Premier League while Sunderland are now just 8/1 to be relegated, suggesting Henderson’s departure will have a greater impact on Sunderland than his arrival at Anfield will for Liverpool.
The Sunderland-born player, who only signed a 5-year deal with the club in April last year, will face greater competition for a starting berth next term as he’ll be competing with Steven Gerrard, Jay Spearing, Raul Meireles, Christian Poulsen and the resurgent Lucas Leiva for a central midfield berth.
Yet with Henderson still set to play for England in the Euro U-21 Championships in Denmark, matching his total of 37 league games for the Reds next year following such a long campaign looks almost impossible.
Whether moving to Anfield is the worst thing that could have happened to Henderson and his football career - as Steve Bruce suggested - remains to be seen. Although somehow it seems unlikely at this moment.
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