Liverpool Captain Jordan Henderson has been named Football Writers Association FWA Footballer of the Year.
The 30-year-old midfielder led Liverpool to their first league title in 30 years this season. He received more than a quarter of the votes cast ahead of team mates Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane. Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford featured heavily in the voting behind Henderson.
Outstanding 12 months for skipper
It has been a standout year for Henderson who captained Liverpool to the Champions League title in 2019. The club have also claimed the Club World Cup in December and recently secured the small matter of the Premiership.
Henderson is used to winning trophies having secured five in the past twelve months. He was also named the England national teams Player of the Year in January.
Has had plenty of doubters in his time
However, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the Liverpool Captain. He has had his doubters in his time after his move to Merseyside from Sunderland in 2011.
Many- including Liverpool fans- said he was not up to it, overpriced and not good enough for England.
When Brendan Rodgers took over from Kenny Daglish at the end of the season, his days looked numbered. Henderson was offered to Fulham in a part exchange deal to sign Clint Dempsey.
When Rodgers broke the news to him, he responded by refusing to go and vowed to prove himself at Liverpool. I am sure all Liverpool fans are gratified that he kept to that decision
In 2015 he was named club captain and the Sunderland midfielder hasn’t looked back since.
A fiercely competitive character on the pitch
Henderson is fiercely devoted to his role and demands the same from others around him. He has grown as a player and a leader. He ranks fourth in the league for possession won in attacking areas.
Henderson has also popped up with some crucial goals for Liverpool this season four in total and five assists.
One could argue that Liverpool have natural captains all over the pitch. Van Dijk, Keita and Becker come to mind, but are behind in the pecking order behind the reliable Henderson.
A Leader off the pitch as well
It isn’t just on the pitch where he leads by example, it is off the pitch as well.
Henderson has helped raise money for the NHS as part of the PlayersTogether initiative. His initial idea has now raised millions of pounds for NHS charities. His devotion to the cause is further proof of why Henderson will give everything both on and off the pitch.
A fully deserved winner it has to be said and favourite to pick up the PFA Player of the Year award.