Jordan Henderson intends to stay at Liverpool for many years to come, despite having yet to extend his contract past next summer.
The 24-year-old has gone from the butt of jokes to become the Reds’ captain-elect with Steven Gerrard’s time at Anfield soon coming to a close.
Henderson’s attitude and aptitude has ingratiated himself on Merseyside, where he plans to stay for a long time to come despite only having 15 months left on his contract.
The midfielder is relaxed about the situation, though, and has left agent and club to negotiate so his focus can remain on football.
“It’s definitely not (a major issue),” Henderson said. “I love playing football for Liverpool and I want to be there for many years.
“In terms of my contract, I think everybody else will make a big deal of it but for me it’s just letting my agent and the club deal with it and whenever it gets sorted, it gets sorted. All I want to do is my best for club and country.”
For England that means extending their winning record to an eighth match in Italy, while at Liverpool his short-term goal is success in this season’s FA Cup – something Henderson believes can prove just the start.
“At Liverpool we’ve got fantastic players, real quality players and a lot of potential,” the midfielder said.
“We’re a young team and I think there is great potential and a big part of us is wanting to be winners and winning trophies. I really feel we can do that.
“It is the same with England. I really feel we are going in the right direction and hopefully in the next Euros we can do something special.”
Henderson will no doubt play a key role if Liverpool and England are to be successful, with many seeing him as Gerrard’s heir apparent.
That is not something that particularly fazes him, nor something he believes he can achieve as “there will never be another Steven Gerrard”.
Henderson has, though, learned a lot from the Liverpool great, which will be key when he moves to the LA Galaxy at the end of the season.
“When I first came to the club he was brilliant with us,” he said. “When I wasn’t playing so much, he was just the same, helping us on the field with what I needed to do and improve on. And also off the field, he’s brilliant.
“He’s just got this sort of presence about him, that real leadership.
“He’s just a real humble person as well, which is amazing really, for all the young players at Liverpool. I’m sure everybody there has learnt a lot from him.”