Jordan Henderson has a chance to join Liverpool’s legends – and is a worthy PFA Player of the Year winner – Robbie Savage

Jordan Henderson will join the cast of Liverpool legends as the captain who raised the Champions League, the Club World Championship and, save a miracle, the Premier League trophies.

It is still possible that he can win the highs – title, FA Cup and European Cup – this season.

And the tearful embrace he shared with his father after beating Tottenham in Madrid last June was one of the best moments of father and son in sports.

Henderson would be a worthy winner of the PFA’s Player of the Year crown because he is a brilliant example of a player who made the most of his gifts.

When it was signed by Kenny Dalglish for £ 16 million nine years ago, there were some eyebrows raised in Anfield and beyond – but now he will join Graeme Souness, Dalglish and Steven Gerrard in the cast of Liverpool icons.

Jordan Henderson is about to become a Liverpool legend

Technically, it’s also much better than some of its past critics would have you believe. There is much more to Henderson’s game than running power and athleticism.

If his peers voted for Henderson as the player of the year, I would have no complaints.

But … and there’s a “but” coming up with all those compliments.

If I took Jordan Henderson out of this magnificent Liverpool team, would they work just as effectively without him?

Would he miss him as much as Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino or Trent Alexander-Arnold? Probably not.

Many had doubts about Henderson when he joined Liverpool in 2011

Would Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, Adam Lallana and James Milner provide the same quality in his absence? Probably yes.

I would say that Alexander-Arnold has become the best right-back in the world, and this season he has contributed the most assists, as well as an impeccable delivery of the kicks placed and helping Liverpool to sustain the best defensive record in the country.

If I was still playing, and I had put a cross on a ballot this weekend, Alexander-Arnold would get my vote.

A full back has never won the PFA gong before, but has taken the role to a new level, keeping a supply line for advances along that right flank while keeping the rear gate closed at the same time.

He is also blessed with a fantastic football brain. The corner taken quickly against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final last season was an emblematic example.

Trento Alexander-Arnold has been particularly impressive for Liverpool this season

What a fantastic statement for Liverpool would be if one of their children – still only 21 years old – could win such a prestigious award.

Statistics alone are a good case for the TAA: two goals, 10 assists, 13 other important occasions created, 151 recoveries of the ball, the clearest goals in the Premier League, the best defensive record in all four divisions.

What’s wrong?

Like 1999, when Manchester United won the highs, but Tottenham’s David Ginola won the footballer of the year because the vote was split among many deserving United players, there is a possibility that the PFA gong will not go to a player from the Liverpool this year.

Van Dijk, Mane, Firmino, Henderson and Alexander-Arnold must all be in a scream, along with Kevin de Bruyne of Manchester City and Jamie Vardy, top scorer in the Premier League.

Alexander-Arnold is one of many Liverpool players with a cry to win the PFA Player of the Year

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As an experiment, I previously conducted a quick Twitter survey and you can see the results for yourself.

It remains to be seen whether the votes of PFA members will reflect public opinion.

But as much as you admire Henderson, and everything he has accomplished, my cross on the ballot right now would go to Alexander-Arnold.

In the years to come, if he maintains the standards established in 2019-2020, we could speak of him in the same breath as Cafu, Carlos Alberto, Lilian Thuram and Philipp Lahm as one of the great full backs of the right back.

In a Twitter survey experiment, which drew 26,000 votes in three hours, the Player of the Year’s final vote was as follows:

Jordan Henderson 43 percent

Kevin de Bruyne 30 percent

Trento Alexander-Arnold 19 percent

Roberto Firmino 8 percent

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