Jurgen Klopp has hinted that Jordan Henderson may return to Liverpool’s starting lineup for Sunday’s trip to face Tottenham.
The skipper was rested for Tuesday’s Champions League win over NK Maribor and replaced by James Milner, whose standout performance has since given his manager a midfield selection dilemma.
Despite Milner’s impressive display, it looks likely Henderson will slot straight back into the starting eleven for the clash at Wembley.
“I never speak about the line-up, but Jordan is our skipper and I thought really it made sense (to rest him),” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Jordan played pretty much so far all the games. He had both international games with England, 90 minutes. So then he played the next game again, against United, which is a very, very intense game for a defensive midfield player, so it was clear that we would make one change in this game – against Maribor in the moment it was Jordan, but that’s all.”
“I was never in doubt about Millie; there is nothing new about this. Yes, I am really happy for him that he performed that well, like all the others, thank God.”
“But that’s the situation we wanted to have, that’s the situation that we need to have – that we have more of the highest quality players than 11.”
“I respect Millie a lot, he is a very, very important player for us on the pitch and off the pitch.”
Klopp will undoubtedly be considering roles for both Henderson and Milner against Spurs, with the latter having out-performed both Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum in midweek.
The 7-0 win in Slovenia saw Milner implement a far more attack-minded approach than Henderson typically does, thereby introducing the option of using both.
Thanks to Henderson’s rest and Milner’s lack of game time, both also represent relatively fresh legs for Klopp to make use of against an unrelenting Spurs team.
Regardless of his role, Milner evidently remains valuable to his manager’s immediate plans.