Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Jordan Henderson sale would be worst Liverpool transfer for 17 years

Any Jordan Henderson sale right now would be Liverpool’s worst transfer decision for 17 years. We’re looking at an all-timer, here.

There’s been a lot of talk over the last few days that Jordan Henderson could be up for sale. It comes as contract talks stall, potentially forcing everyone’s hands.

The Daily Mail is one paper to lay it out. Henderson would want to talk to clubs that can secure him a long-term future. Liverpool would potentially sell to avoid losing him for nothing, as with Gini Wijnaldum.

All of that makes sense. What doesn’t is the idea that Liverpool would actually let their captain leave.

We do understand the perspective that Henderson has a contract until 2023. Liverpool can say they’ve got him until then and past that, maybe he isn’t the same player.

But football doesn’t work that way and hasn’t for some time now. If Henderson wants the long-term security of a transfer elsewhere, he’ll push for it – and Liverpool will buckle as every club always does.

Is Jordan Henderson up for sale?

It’s difficult to name everything Henderson brings to Liverpool. Above all, he’s an elite midfielder who can help deliver the game’s biggest trophies.

How Will Rafa Benitez Do At Everton? Football Manager 2021 Experiment

But he’s also the club captain and organiser. There’s a stark difference between Liverpool with Henderson and Liverpool without him. Collapses are prone to happen when he’s missing – the captain missed both the 3-0 against Watford and the 7-2 against Aston Villa in recent years.

In fact, Henderson has lost just two Premier League games since January 2019, when starting in midfield. Both were away at Manchester City – the first a narrow 2-1 defeat, the second a 4-0 loss the day after Liverpool clinched the title.

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

So from a footballing perspective, letting him go seems like madness. He’s a player in his prime and while there have been injuries, he remains a world-class player who influences Liverpool greatly.

And as Liverpool prepare for life in a new era, with youngsters coming through and learning the ways, having Henderson around feels absolutely vital. He can anchor such a team and there’s no one better to keep things solid on the pitch through such a change.

We’d argue that there’s more value in an ageing Henderson than anyone past their prime.

Replacing him would be an absolute nightmare – who ticks all of these boxes? The closest we can think of would be someone like Declan Rice but he’d cost £100m.

Back in 2004

We have to go all the way back to 2004 to find a transfer that made as little sense. That’s when Liverpool sold Michael Owen to Real Madrid for £8m and Antonio Nunez.

The Reds didn’t replace him properly for another three years before buying Fernando Torres for a club-record fee. There was far, far more value in simply keeping Owen for another year and letting him go for free.

At least when Xabi Alonso and Luis Suarez left, they both requested it and Liverpool netted record fees. Henderson actually wants to stay and could leave anyway.

This would be a truly shocking decision and one we can’t make sense of.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know