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Alex Ferguson clears up story of turning Jordan Henderson down due to his “gait”

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Former Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has put the record straight on the story of him turning down the chance to sign Jordan Henderson due to the midfielder’s running style.

Writing in his autobiography back in 2013, Ferguson had explained: “We looked at Jordan Henderson a lot and Steve Bruce was unfailingly enthusiastic about him.

“Against that we noticed that Henderson runs from his knees, with a straight back, while the modern footballer runs from his hips.

“We thought his gait (running style) might cause him problems later in his career.”

Of course, Henderson has gone on to captain Liverpool and England, so far making 384 appearances for the Reds – and, of course, lifting the Champions League and Premier League in back-to-back seasons.

Speaking at an online fundraiser event for Sports United Against Dementia on Friday night alongside Jurgen Klopp and Kenny Dalglish, Ferugson attempted to put the record straight.

“There was criticism from Brendan Rodgers about my assessment of Jordan,” he said.

“The actual story was we were ready to make a bid for him at Sunderland. I spoke to Steve Bruce (then Sunderland manager). Our scouting and medical department said they weren’t happy with his running style.

“They said he could be the type of player to get injuries. I had to make sure players would always be available.

“But we loved Jordan as a player. He has proved that now. All the stories I hear about him tell me that I missed out on a really good person.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 17, 2010: England's Jordan Henderson in action against France during the International Friendly match at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Speaking back in 2014, Henderson said of the comments: “What was written in the book never bothered me.

“To be honest, I looked upon it as a compliment that I got a mention. The fact Alex Ferguson was watching me at some stage must have meant I was doing something right.

“I was never aware of any interest from United and I’m happy with how things worked out. I’m enjoying my football and we’re progressing well as a team.

“I never felt as if I had a point to prove really – except maybe to myself and to Liverpool Football Club in terms of improving as a player.”

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