‘I couldn’t have passed it to a better person’: Steven Gerrard pays touching tribute to his successor as captain Jordan Henderson for leading Liverpool to the Premier League title
Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has praised Jordan Henderson after watching the midfielder celebrate winning the Premier League title.
Henderson took over as Reds skipper when Gerrard ended his 26-year association with the club to move to LA Galaxy in 2015.
Writing on Instagram, Rangers boss Gerrard told Henderson: ‘Couldn’t have passed it to a better person. Proud of you, mate.’
Steven Gerrard (right) has hailed Jordan Henderson (centre) following Liverpool’s title triumph
Henderson was overwhelmed by emotion after the Reds won the Premier League on Thursday
Gerrard said he ‘couldn’t have passed the captaincy to a better person’ in an Instagram post
Gerrard was impressed when Liverpool signed Henderson from Sunderland as a 20-year-old for £16million in 2011, voicing his hope that the youngster would prove successful enough to take over from him as captain.
Henderson deputised for Gerrard on several occasions during the four years the pair spent as team-mates, starting as captain for the first time during Gerrard’s final season at the club.
Liverpool’s Premier League title glory adds to the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup won by Henderson since Gerrard’s departure.
Gerrard skippered the Reds until 2015, passing the armband on to fellow midfielder Henderson
Earlier this year, Gerrard said Henderson was ‘running games like Paul Scholes’ and told BT Sport: ‘It’s no surprise to me how he’s handling himself on and off the pitch.
‘Obviously, I played with him for numerous years with Liverpool and England. A very fit, athletic boy who’s selfless in his approach on the pitch, puts everyone else above himself.
‘When you play alongside him you appreciate the job he does for the team and I think over the years he’s been developing parts of his game. His passing range now is fantastic.
The former England midfielder was overjoyed after Liverpool triumphed after Man City defeat
‘He’s always there for the team. I’ve watched him grow as a human being with interest – he’s always been a great lad and a great team-mate.
‘It’s no surprise now that people are starting to recognise what a man he is, both on and off the pitch. Every bit of praise he gets he deserves it because it’d true, and I can guarantee that because I’ve been alongside him.’
Henderson (left) partied with Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk (right) and the Reds squad at a hotel
Alisson (centre) and Fabinho (right) danced with joy as Henderson proudly watched on
Henderson admitted being ‘lost for words’ when he was interviewed before partying with his team-mates in the aftermath of their title win being confirmed.
‘You never really think of this moment,’ he said. ‘When this moment comes, I can’t really describe it. It’s another moment in our lives that we’ll never forget.
‘It feels amazing. I’m so happy for all the boys. The club, the whole city. I am so proud of what we achieved.’
The 30-year-old was quick to praise manager Jurgen Klopp, adding: ‘He is a great leader and a great human being and we all believe in him.’
Henderson has been an integral part of two glorious seasons for his side under Jurgen Klopp