Jordan Henderson and Mo Salah have developed a partnership that could bring success to Liverpool this season.
It is one that no one really saw coming. Henderson, after all, has played as a deep-lying midfielder for the entirety of Jurgen Klopp’s reign.
He’s been unable to develop partnerships with anyone, an isolated pivot as everyone else moves around him. The captain has a more advanced role now, however, and it’s to Salah’s benefit.
Henderson sits on the right of midfield, making plenty of runs beyond the forwards and deep into the right-wing.
It’s been a very effective change, too; Henderson has assisted three and scored one in under four full games, as well as creating other opportunities.
It was easy to think that his energy on the right flank would benefit Trent Alexander-Arnold the most. Henderson has played as a defensive, sitting player for years and so he would surely add protection for the young full-back.
Instead, Henderson is the most advanced of any Liverpool midfielder. And that benefits Salah the most.
It’s been pointed out by many that defenders are taking extra care with Salah this year after his 17/18 exploits.
It’s become tougher to do that, however, as Henderson is frequently making advanced runs in that area. He’s dragging the extra player wide, or pulling them inside, or simply making them think twice.
Salah has more freedom as a result. His goal against Chelsea, for example, may have been a screamer, but Henderson’s run in behind gives him the time to line up his shot.
Similarly, the obsession with stopping Salah in that game freed Henderson to pick the ball up in Chelsea’s box and create the opener.
Henderson’s move has coincided with Salah’s return to form. The Southampton game was the first, in which Salah broke his nine-game goal drought, and he followed that with goals against Chelsea and FC Porto.
The drought had been a big worry for Liverpool but it looks to have been fixed. And it’s down to a very important partnership between Salah and Henderson.