Jordan Henderson believes the rough start he had to his Liverpool career has helped to improve him as a player, reports the Daily Mirror.
Henderson was signed in the summer of 2011 for a fee of £20million, and struggled to make an impact during his first season at Anfield.
He had the opportunity to move to Fulham in search of regular first team football, following the arrival of Brendan Rodgers in the summer of 2012, but the 24-year-old opted to stay and fight for his place.
Henderson has made huge strides since then, and has been rewarded with being named the club’s vice-captain this week – following in the footsteps of club legends such as Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler.
“It is a huge honour to be vice-captain, and a huge honour to be given the extra responsibility by the gaffer,” he said.
“I didn’t have to think too hard about it – it was an amazing feeling. I think it shows how much I have progressed. It is something I spoke about with the manager, who said when I wasn’t playing that I could take time out, focus on videos and learn tactically as a player.
“He promised that he would improve me and I have got a lot to thank him for because I feel he has done that tactically. Definitely.”
Henderson often struggled with the tactical side of the game during his first season at Liverpool, especially when asked to fill an unfamiliar role on the right of midfield under Kenny Dalglish.
Since then, the England international has worked hard to improved that aspect of his game, having been told to study video analysis by Rodgers upon his arrival – and the results have been there for all to see.
“That was a big thing when he came in. He said I needed to improve my tactical awareness, how it needed to be better in games,” Henderson admitted.“I think it has improved, but I try and improve every single day in training. I watch every game back to see what I can do better and the manager helps me with it.
“In big games, tactics come in to it a lot, with different formations, different tactics, and different counter-attacks. I have learnt a lot and I am continuing to do so.”