Jordan Henderson used to dominate Sunderland youth matches with Jack Grealish-style dribbling, according to one of his former coaches.
Henderson has gone on to be one of the most decorated captain’s in recent years, winning the Premier League and Champions League with Liverpool.
The 32-year-old has been the lynchpin for Jurgen Klopp in his midfield as more of a box-to-box player with a brilliant range of passing.
Henderson came through the Sunderland academy and his game was completely different, but his abilities shone through at a young age.
Canada boss John Herdman coached the midfielder when he was 11 at the north east club and did not picture him being known as more of a passer of the ball.
Ahead of the World Cup, Herdman told talkSPORT: “He was head and shoulders above players at that time. He was playing up an age group, sometimes two age groups.
“He played with that intensity. I watch him play now as an adult and he has this look on his face that just has this intensity, and he had that as a kid.
“For me there’s a character. He had a real personality to influence and impact the game.
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“At that age he was a killer. He would dominate the game through his dribbling abilities, so seeing him now as more of a passer… I pictured him being a Jack Grealish type player in terms of his dribbling ability.
“His personality hasn’t changed and it’s amazing to see the same personality is pervasive and it’s those players who don’t let the game knock it out of them.
“They tend to get there and he’s done that.”
Those skills as a youngster were put on full display during the Soccer AM segment Skills Skool back in 2008.
Henderson dazzled his teammates with his fancy footwork during the battle with his teammate.
He made his Premier League debut for the club that year, before then establishing himself as a first-team regular over the next two seasons.
The midfielder then joined Liverpool in 2011 for around £20million and has gone on to make 465 appearances, winning eight trophies.
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