Pundit fiercely deflects Liverpool criticism, saying shock stance on star is bang on

Date published: Saturday 24th July 2021 9:05 - Jonny Whitfield

Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino, Andy Robertson Man City v Liverpool November 2020

Gabriel Agbonlahor has said that Liverpool are doing exactly the right thing by holding off on handing Jordan Henderson a new contract.

The Reds’ captain has proved an unmissable figure for manager Jurgen Klopp and has grown into a fantastic role model. In fact, he is approaching 400 games following his recent 10-year Anfield anniversary. However, reports emerged earlier this month that talks over a new deal have so far proved ‘unsatisfactory’.

Not only that, but he could even leave Liverpool this summer. Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid are reportedly monitoring the situation closely.

Henderson, 31, has two years left on his current deal – the same as several other key stars including Alisson Becker and Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool faced criticism from ex-left-back Jose Enrique following the reports about Henderson emerging.

According to former Aston Villa man Agbonlahor, though, there is a misunderstanding and Liverpool are doing the right thing.

“This is where people don’t understand contracts,” the pundit told Football Insider.

“He’s got two years left and he’ll be 33 when the two years are done. We’re not talking about a player who will be 25 when the two years are done.

“If I’m Liverpool, I’m thinking ‘There’s no rush.’ You’d only be rushing if the player was down to his last year and was in his 20s.

“I don’t see any problem in Liverpool not signing him up yet. There’s no rush. It’s not a problem.”

Henderson, like many of Liverpool’s players last season, suffered with injury. Indeed, he did not play for three months following a groin problem.

Liverpool right over Henderson contract

Jordan Henderson TEAMtalk

“There’s a lot of football to be played in the next two years and we’ve seen Henderson struggle with some injuries,” Agbonlahor added.

“Liverpool are probably thinking ‘Let’s wait and see how he does in the next 18 months then we’ve got a decision to make.’

“A central-midfielder at 33, there’s a lot of running in there. I think Liverpool are playing it right.

“He could leave like Wijnaldum but maybe that would suit Liverpool. You don’t know what his form is going to be like in two years time. Your legs get a bit slower when you get to 32, 33.

“I’m sure if Liverpool really want to keep Jordan Henderson they’ll offer him a deal and he’ll want to stay there, he’s been there over 10 years now.”

Henderson’s former Reds team-mate Enrique argued the opposite, insisting that the England star keeps his body in perfect shape.


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