Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has averaged the fourth-most successful passes per game of any player in Europe’s top five leagues this season.
Henderson has taken up a new role in Jurgen Klopp‘s midfield in 2016/17, occupying the deep-lying role in Liverpool’s 4-3-3 system.
Henderson is ahead of former Reds midfielders Xabi Alonso (69.2) and Javier Mascherano (68.8), while perhaps more impressive is how he compares similarly with Paris Saint-Germain’s excellent Marco Veratti (74.1).
The former Sunderland youngster is still a way off Europe’s most successful passer, PSG’s Thiago Motta (87.9), while Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara (82.8) and Borussia Dortmund’s Matthias Ginter (76.2) also average more.
While this is characteristic of Henderson’s efficiency and composure in his new role, that each of these players operates largely as a deep-lying midfielder or in defence is telling.
Not only is Henderson serving as a valuable metronome as Klopp’s No. 6, he is looking to play in the Reds’ forwards with incisive passes from deep.
With Lallana, Wijnaldum and Can more focussed on supporting attacks with driving runs, this something Henderson must look to preserve, with Klopp entrusting him with a variety of responsibilities; also including breaking up play with tackles and interceptions.
It would be reductive to suggest that the number of successful passes Henderson averages proves he is effective in his new role, but his all-round game has certainly served to do so instead.