Jurgen Klopp believes Jordan Henderson can cut it at centre-back. This would be a third position change for the Liverpool captain.
Jordan Henderson, centre-back. No, we didn’t see it coming, either. That’s the situation, though, as Liverpool tackle a ridiculous injury crisis.
Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are out long-term, of course. Now Joel Matip and Fabinho are out, too, leaving Klopp without all four of his first-team options in defence.
Henderson, though, is stepping up. He’s played two games there now, conceding just once. Big games, too, against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
And he’ll probably have to stay there. We all expect him to play at the back against West Ham United later today.
The question, then, is how good can he be there? Well, Klopp seems to believe he could change position to centre-back – if that’s what he wanted.
But the Liverpool boss is quick to point out just how remarkable that is. Henderson has already changed position before, after all.
“He could play centre back but we should not forget that Hendo is actually an 8,” says Klopp, per the Mirror.
“And that makes it even more special. He is an 8 transformed into a 6 transformed into a 4. He can play all these positions.”
Now, using numbers like that is a very German way of talking about positions. By 8, Klopp means the more advanced midfield role, with 6 being their traditional holding midfielder (in England, that’s traditionally the 4).
And how Henderson could be a ‘4’ – Klopp’s idea of the centre-back.
“Centre-half is one of the positions he can definitely play and thankfully for us he can play that,” he went on to say.
“What makes it so exciting with Hendo is that with his football skills he can be very influential in our build-up as well, so that helps.”
Henderson is hitting James Milner levels of versatility here. But it’s no surprise he’s got it in him – give him a few more games and he’ll likely look like a fine centre-back.
No, we don’t want him there long-term but Klopp sounds confident that he’ll pull it off over the next few games.
And the way things are going this season, that’s good enough for us.