Liverpool told Klopp has fallen out with vital star, as Scholes compares absentee’s impact to Man Utd ace working wonders for Ten Hag
Former Manchester United star Paul Scholes feels Jordan Henderson should be in the Liverpool starting line-up as his presence boosts everyone around him.
Henderson, 32, was on the bench as the Reds suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest on Saturday. Former Reds forward Taiwo Awoniyi scored the only goal of the game on 55 minutes. The strike condemned the Merseysiders to their third league defeat of the campaign.
They have won only four top-flight matches this term and sit seventh in the table with 16 points to their name.
Henderson has played a huge role in Liverpool’s success since arriving from Sunderland in June 2011. The Wearsider has made 462 appearances in all competitions, with 335 of those coming in the Premier League.
He suffered a hamstring injury early in the season that kept him sidelined for four weeks. But, now fit, Jurgen Klopp has chosen to place him among the substitutes.
Henderson was brought on just after the hour mark at the City Ground. He helped galvanise the team but it was not enough as the visitors failed to find the back of the net.
And Scholes is adamant that the schemer should be given the nod.
“He has Jordan Henderson on the bench, he should be playing. He is the leader of the team,” he told MatchDay Extra on Premier League Productions.
“He’s the captain and the one, the Casemiro type of role, and he gets everyone ticking around.”
Casemiro had to be patient before becoming a regular starter under Erik ten Hag. However, since getting the nod after the 6-3 defeat to Man City, the Brazilian has started all six subsequent games.
United are unbeaten over that span, with Owen Hargreaves claiming Casemiro is now undroppable. He’s also impacting the game at both ends of the pitch, as evidenced by his late equaliser against Chelsea on Saturday.
Klopp – Henderson relationship questioned
Henderson has enjoyed plenty of success while at Anfield. The north-east native was part of the Reds side that claimed the 2019-2020 Premier League title.
And he captained the side to Champions League glory in June 2019. He has also claimed two EFL Cups and an FA Cup while earning 70 England caps.
It remains to be seen if Henderson can force his way back into Klopp’s reckoning. And Scholes believes there might be something a bit deeper behind his lack of recent starts.
“He seems to have fallen out with him or carrying an injury,” he added. “There is something not quite right there.”
Henderson a positive influence on team-mates
Liverpool are already 11 points behind table-topping Arsenal, with the Gunners having a game in hand.
They are also ten points adrift of champions Manchester City – the club that most pundits name as favourites to lift the Premier League trophy.
Things have not clicked in 2022-2023 to date and a title push seems unlikely at present.
Scholes feels that Henderson brings the best out of his team-mates. And earlier this month, both Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen suggested Trent Alexander-Arnold performs better with his captain in the side.
The ex-England duo believe the right-back has more freedom to make his forward runs with Henderson anchoring midfield.
Liverpool are next in action on Wednesday when they travel to Amsterdam to take on Ajax in the Champions League.
Having won three straight games in Europe’s elite club competition, they need just a point to secure qualification to the knockout stage.
Henderson has made two starts in Europe this season and was given the nod as Liverpool thrashed Rangers 7-1 at Ibrox.
And Klopp may choose to use him once again, with just three days rest before Leeds United arrive at Anfield.
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