Jordan Henderson said he could never match Steven Gerrard’s contribution to Liverpool despite captaining the club to a first Premier League era title.
Henderson will become the first Liverpool captain to lift the Premier League, the Champions League and the Club World Cup when he is presented with the top division trophy in the final home game against Chelsea.
The 30-year-old was instrumental in Liverpool’s rise under Jürgen Klopp, on and off the pitch, with his influence claiming Brendan Rodgers’ decision to make him Gerrard’s successor as captain in July 2015.
The English midfielder remains uncomfortable with the comparisons with his predecessor and insists that his unique place in Liverpool’s history does not mean that the challenge of replacing Gerrard has been met.
“I said it when I first took on the role of captain, when people could have doubted me and criticized me as a person, but I will always say that no one will replace Steven Gerrard in this club, no matter who is the captain or what the team wins, ”said Henderson.
“I didn’t have in mind when I assumed the position of captain to replace him; it was just to do the best I could for this club and this team and that’s all I try to do. “
Henderson spoke to Gerrard on Friday, when he marked his first full day as a Premier League champion with a round of golf, and dedicated the club’s 19th league championship to the legend of Anfield who suffered an almost missed agony in 2014. .
“This isn’t just for us as players and for fans,” said Henderson. “It’s also for players like Stevie and Kenny [Dalglish] which mean so much to this club. I know how much it means for Stevie to win the Premier League.
“I was devastated in 2014 that we weren’t able to cross the line for him, but I know he’s so happy and so proud of this team that he can bring the Premier League trophy to Liverpool. This is personal enough for me and I do it for he’s quite big. “
Liverpool will take on the team they deposed Thursday as Premier League champion when they head to Manchester City. Henderson knows that Pep Guardiola’s team will be determined to regain the title next season, but believes they won’t be the only threat.
“United look strong, Chelsea have signed some players recently and I’m sure they’ll be back,” he said. “They have young players coming and Frank Lampard has done a really good job. The city is an incredible team and you will have other teams knocking on the door and constantly improving.
“That’s why you have to keep wanting more and keep going. So far we have done it very well after last year and having won the Champions League. The next season shouldn’t be any different. “
Liverpool will be without Joël Matip for the remainder of the campaign after the defender suffered a foot injury to Everton in the first game of the restart. Matip, who had lost several months earlier in the season from a knee problem, worked tirelessly across the block to regain full physical fitness.
On Tuesday he confirmed his situation: “I won’t be back on the pitch this season, but for next season, I hope to be a direct help for the team very soon.”