Following a summer of big money arrivals at Anfield, a number of Liverpool stars are under increased pressure for their places in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI, and none more so than captain Jordan Henderson, according to club legend Mark Lawrenson.
The England midfielder has failed to start in either of Liverpool’s first two games of the season against West Ham United and Crystal Palace, and Lawrenson told Irish radio station Newstalk (via The Sport Review) that he fears for the 28-year-old’s long-term future at Anfield.
Lawrenson said of Henderson: “He’s vulnerable. He knows he might not be in the team. He is a good lad. He is under pressure. The manager likes him.”
Henderson’s omission from the starting lineup in each of Liverpool’s first two matches of the season may, of course, be due to the midfielder’s extensive involvement at the World Cup with England this summer.
The Liverpool captain played an integral role in the Three Lions setup as Gareth Southgate’s side reached the semi-finals of the competition in Russia, which meant that Henderson arrived back at Liverpool late for pre-season and had limited preparations for the new Premier League campaign.
It remains to be seen how big a part that has played in Henderson’s lack of selection by Jurgen Klopp, with the German’s team makeup in the weeks to come set to be more telling.
Fellow Englishman James Milner has assumed Henderson’s role as captain in midfield for the opening matches of Liverpool’s campaign, alongside new signing Naby Keita and Georginio Wijnaldum, who has made a renewed push for contention in Klopp’s side so far this season.
Brazilian star Fabinho also arrived at Anfield in a high profile move from Monaco during the summer, giving further competition to the likes of Henderson for a regular midfield berth on Merseyside. It seems the Liverpool captain has work to do in order to regain his place.