(Reuters) – Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson says performing well in an advanced midfield position for England helped convince manager Juergen Klopp he could play a more attacking role for his club.
Klopp has used Henderson mainly as a defensive midfielder since taking charge of Liverpool, asking the 28-year-old to curb his attacking instincts and shield the back four.
“I can do both positions and (Klopp) sees I can do both, it’s basically what he wants and needs,” Henderson told reporters. “I felt more comfortable… in (an advanced) position for England, creating chances and doing what I enjoy doing.
“I feel as though I can do more in a position further forward. Me and the gaffer had a conversation. Obviously he saw the England games… and it was something he said he’d think about.”
Klopp deployed Henderson on the right of his midfield trio in Liverpool’s last two games and the captain rewarded the manager with decisive contributions in each match.
He came off the bench and scored the final goal in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Southampton in the Premier League on Friday and helped create the second in their 2-0 Champions League quarter-final first leg win over Porto on Tuesday.
The addition of defensive midfielder Fabinho at the start of the season helped make the decision to move Henderson further forward easier.
“In the last couple of years there hasn’t really been a player like Fabinho in that role, so I’ve had to adapt,” Henderson said. “I just thought that might give me a bit more licence to get forward more.”
Liverpool, who lead the Premier League table by two points having played one game more than second-placed Manchester City, host third-placed Chelsea on Sunday.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)