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Jordan Henderson would ‘dig up’ Sunderland senior players when he was just 18 as Liverpool hero backed to become manager


Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has been tipped to become manager with a former team-mate revealing he called up senior players at Sunderland as a teenager.

Henderson burst onto the scene as a youngster at the north-east club, before securing £20m for the Reds in 2011.

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Henderson came through Sunderland academy before joining Liverpool in 2011

He became a club legend, racking up 449 appearances and leading the team to Premier League and Champions League success.

The 32-year-old was the real driving force behind Liverpool’s success and former Sunderland team-mate Darren Bent says he showed it from an early age.

He told talkSPORT: “You always knew he had the dedication. When we were at Sunderland he was a young lad then, maybe 18.

“He had been talked about a lot, he was linked to everyone, but he put his head down, worked hard and set a good example.

“I always knew he would become something special. He would call the senior players. It takes a lot of guts to call the senior players when they weren’t making their weight, he was rollocking them… at 18 .

“Even in training he didn’t want his team to lose possession of the ball, he didn’t want to lose a five against five.


Jordan Henderson would ‘dig up’ Sunderland senior players when he was just 18 as Liverpool hero backed to become manager

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Bent recalled how Henderson wasn’t afraid to call senior players

“We knew he had that determination and that passion. I always knew he would succeed.

“What you didn’t want to happen when he left for Liverpool is people comparing him to Steven Gerrard.

“Steven Gerrard is a great player in the Premier League and they are two completely different players. I wanted people to judge him in his own rights.

“Now people realize how good and important he has been for Liverpool.”

Jordan Henderson would ‘dig up’ Sunderland senior players when he was just 18 as Liverpool hero backed to become manager

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Henderson oversaw one of the most successful spells in Liverpool’s recent history

Henderson has just turned 32 and will probably still have a few more years to play, but he would probably be a candidate to continue and become a manager one day.

When asked if Henderson would like to become a manager, Bent added: “100%. I can’t see him retiring, stopping there and playing golf. He will want to do something and he could be a manager.

“It also wouldn’t surprise me if he ever returned to Sunderland.”

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