Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson believes that the criticism he has received since he moved to Anfield from Sunderland has helped him become a better player.
Henderson was told by Liverpool that he could look for a new club during the summer and was being linked with a move to Fulham, but since then he has enjoyed a rejuvenation in his game and is fast becoming a regular starter in Brendan Rodger's side.
"I wasn't playing regularly back in August so they gave me the option to go," Henderson told the Daily Mail.
"It wasn't a nice thing to hear. But I just had to take it on the chin. So I said no. I didn't want to go anywhere. I came to Liverpool wanting to stay here for the rest of my career. I certainly didn't want to leave after a year."
Although the criticism was hard to take at times, Henderson now believes he is on the road to Anfield redemption after netting two goals in his last three Premier League games, as well as picking up the England U21 Player of the Year award last night (Sunday).
"I think I might have needed it, to be honest. I just feel if I keep working hard, and pushing on, I might not get as much criticism in the future," he said.
"You have to go in and straight away try to match their ability. You need to learn to perform like they perform and that is a hard thing to do immediately. It's a step up and a challenge and for a good while I couldn't really do it.
"But this season the gaffer told me what he wanted from me, what I needed to improve, and I took it on board. He said I had to be better tactically, for example. He's been brilliant, to be fair, the advice he's given me," added the 22-year-old.
Henderson has been tipped as the long term successor to Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard in the England set up and with five international caps to his name and new found form, it may not be long before we see him as an England regular.
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