An injury stricken second-half of the season cruelly hampered a period in which Jordan Henderson was arguably playing his best football in a Liverpool shirt.
The Reds skipper was the solid, calculated and all-action holding midfield that proved to be a foundation to the explosive attacking play that granted Jurgen Klopp’s men such an emphatic start to the campaign.
Liverpool would have perhaps consolidated a top four spot far sooner had Henderson remained fit and Graeme Souness has somewhat reaffirmed that idea by explaining just how dearly he was missed.
“In the playing sense they’ve missed him greatly,” Souness told Liverpoolfc.com.
“You’re not always bossing the game – doesn’t matter what team you are, you’re not always in charge of the game – and he’s really good at making [his opponent] go into areas and make passes they don’t want to.”
“As well as that, I think he’s improved with his own technique – he can open the play up both short and long now, and he’s a major influence.”
“Arguably, he might have been the first on the teamsheet when he was firing on all cylinders.”
Henderson not only emerged as a key figure in implementing the manager’s favoured style of play, but he also made significant strides as far as being a great captain is concerned.
His leadership was evidenced both vocally and with his approach on the pitch while he also started to take more responsibility on the ball and contribute in all aspects of the game.
The hope is that the summer will give him plenty of time to return to full fitness in time to play an entire and uninterrupted campaign.