Jordan Henderson to be handed Liverpool privilege in just second Ajax appearance

Former Liverpool skipper, Jordan Henderson will wear the armband for the first time when his new team Ajax travel to Heerenveen on Sunday.

It will only be Henderson’s second appearance since he quit Saudi Pro League Al Ettifaq after just six months in the Middle East.

The 33-year-old England midfielder has been made captain because former Spurs winger Steven Bergwijn is sidelined by injury.

But it is understood that Ajax coach John van ‘t Schip is keen to make the appointment more permanent such is the positive effect that Henderson has had on the dressing room.

Henderson lifted the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Club World Cup during this time as Jurgen Klopp’s leader. Ajax’s young midfielder Kenneth Taylor has spoken about Henderson’s instant impact in Amsterdam.

Taylor said: “Jordan’s presence in the team and dressing room is huge. Everyone can tell he has played at top level in Europe and in England for years. Jordan is a leader and a coach on the pitch in such a good and natural manner.

“He is constantly supporting young players, he sees things quicker than others and tells us how to anticipate all the time. That is already resulting in a more fluent playing style. Simple things are now stuck in the head of the players, which creates a lot of automatic things in our game. I love all that.”

Henderson is now the highest-paid player at Ajax after turning his back on a £750,0000-a-week contract in the desert to return to Europe. But Taylor reckons everyone at the club reckons he is worth every penny of his £100,000-a-week salary.

He added: “None of us find this (Henderson’s wages) annoying, because Jordan is such a wonderful and social person. He has been calling players to come and listen to what he has to say. He also wants to know how I like to receive the ball.

“And what we all loved about him in his first game is that he kept going, in attack and when we had to defend. To me it is fantastic to get an insight into what is demanded at the top level. It is too early to say how things will work out exactly with Jordan in our team, but for me it feels really good to have a player like him.

“I sense the same appreciation among other players when they talk about Jordan. The atmosphere has really changed. Jordan is giving us an extra boost. Not only for us, the players, but the fans love him too.’ It has brought back the hope that we can still achieve a top-three position in the league.”



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