Just a couple of days ago, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was reported to be facing a difficult contract situation with English hot prospect Raheem Sterling. Sterling has been alleged to be demanding more than 100,000 pounds. An amount the Merseyside club is willing to offer. This has drawn the attention of rivals such as Arsenal, who have been linked to the player lately.
There are fresh worries about Jordan Henderson’s contract which now has just a little more than has just 12 months remaining. The duo has since turned down new deals offered by Liverpool, and the Football Rumour Mill reported that Chelsea may be considering a move for Henderson. The former Sunderland man plays as a holding midfielder for the Reds but is attack-minded like Chelsea legend Frank Lampard. Henderson has been offered an increment in wages in the region of 80,000 pounds which he has turned down. Undoubtedly, he is a player who has developed tremendously since his move from Sunderland to Liverpool. Playing alongside Steven Gerrard, who has established a name for himself at Liverpool, Henderson has benefitted significantly in all aspects of his game. He is highly anticipated to wear the captain’s armband after Gerrard’s departure in the summer.
However, if the rumours linking the Londoners to this 24-year-old midfield engine are credible, let us see what are the changes and expectations he would bring to the Chelsea midfield:
Long range shots from the edge of the box
Since the departures of Essien, Ballack and recently Lampard, Chelsea have lacked a player with the ability to shoot powerfully from distance causing the opponent goalkeepers to become disoriented. Cesc Fabregas lacks such skill and Matic, being left-footed, takes more time to find space to shoot and has to avoid being dispossessed at the same time.
Oscar is the closest we have to such a player, but his dip in form is worrying at the moment. Henderson being a player who can shoot from distance, will benefit Chelsea. He has done it a couple times for the Reds this season in a 2-1 win against Man City and also in a win against Crystal Palace.
Matic’s partner in protecting back four
This season, Mourinho has opted for Fabregas as the primary partner of Matic in the central midfield. His decision has paid dividends as Fabregas has dictated the play in most matches, splitting defenses and creating numerous chances in the process. Even in a deep-lying role, he has shown that he possesses the cutting edge that players like Ramires and Mikel lack.
However, Fabregas lacks pace and has been rendered ineffective against teams employing a high pressing game. This headache is what Henderson would solve. He could provide a better option for the midfield that can player against any opponent; whether defensive or offensive because he is good defensively and offensively as well. If Mourinho gets him, we may see Matic getting the best partner ever.
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Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni