LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 11, 2020: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (L) celebrates with Andy Robertson after the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Former boss delighted by success of Reds duo after handing them debuts

Steve Bruce will take great pride when he sees Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson line up against Newcastle on Sunday as Premier League winners.

The Magpies’ head coach played a key role in the formative stages of the careers of both men, handing current Reds skipper Henderson his first top-flight start as a teenager at Sunderland and giving Scotland international Robertson his chance in England at Hull.

Henderson, who was on Friday named the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year, and Robertson picked up league winners’ medals on Wednesday night to go with last season’s Champions League mementos, much to Bruce’s delight.

He said: “One of the most enjoyable parts of the job is seeing a young fella who you give a debut to or you buy and see them progress.

“Certainly Jordan – he had all the traits of leadership when he was 18. That’s why I put him in the team.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 4, 2019: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 234th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I remember him right out in front in the running and dropping back to try to help people who were struggling a bit with a little few words, even when he was 18.

“It’s the pleasing aspect of the job and when I see him now lifting the Premier League trophy, captain of Liverpool, captain of England, I’m absolutely delighted.

“The same goes for Robertson, who we took to Hull. I remember his first day walking in with his mam and dad – I thought I’d signed a schoolboy. I didn’t think he would go on to be arguably the best left-back in Europe, maybe the world.

“The good part of the job is helping these lads along the way and watching them mature, and certainly with Jordan, I’m absolutely delighted. I’m delighted for him and Robbo. They’ve done fantastically well.”