Jordan Henderson has lavished praise on Liverpool teammate James Milner this weekend, after his fellow England international was made our new vice-captain ahead of the start of the Premier League season.
Milner takes over the role from Henderson, who has stepped up to replace Steven Gerrard as club captain. The midfield duo will be looking to take games by the scruff of the neck this year and, hopefully, lead the Reds back into the Champions League places.
Speaking about Milner’s qualities, Henderson told our official website: “James has been a fantastic player for a number of years – I think we’ve all watched him for quite some time in the Premier League now and he’s been a great player.
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“I think he can really add something to our team. He’s got great experience, is great technically and has great ability. I think this season, he’ll be a big player for us. I think it [experience] will only help, especially the younger lads. He’s won trophies and played at the highest level for club and country.
“He’s a great bonus and addition to the team – I’m sure all of us will learn from him.”
Both Henderson and Milner were in fine form during pre-season, with the latter even grabbing a couple of goals during our successful tour of the Far East. However, Henderson is determined to focus on leading the team to success, rather than brining up personal milestones.
“We always talk about that [scoring more goals], but I’m not really bothered as long as we’re winning games – that’s the main thing,” he continued. “If we’re winning games, no-one will be saying ‘he should be scoring’. It’s a collective thing and the aim is to win as many games as we can.
“For me, it doesn’t really matter who is scoring or assisting, as long as you’re contributing to the game and giving everything for the team. That’s the most important thing.”
Milner is just one of seven new signings that will play alongside Henderson this season. Adam Bogdan, Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Clyne, Roberto Firmino, Danny Ings and Christian Benteke have also come in, much to the excitement of their skipper.
“I think you’ve seen in the games how good they’ve been,” the 25-year-old stated. “They’ve freshened us up a little bit and been working extremely hard in trying to get into, and improve, the team.
“I definitely think they’ll do that, so hopefully we can carry on the way we have been and start the season well.”
As for pre-season itself, which came to an end with us having won five and drawn one of our six games, Henderson believes that the positivity surrounding the results and the performances will leave us in a good place moving forward.
“It’s been a good pre-season for us all, we’ve worked hard and fitness-wise we’re feeling ready for the season,” he added. “Going over to Australia and Asia, pre-season has been a good experience for all of the team. Training was good there in different conditions, which I think will help us and I think we’re ready now.”