Jordan Henderson, right, has backed Jude Bellingham to shine (Nick Potts/PA)

Henderson’s “genuine excitement” over Bellingham – “Wait until you see this kid”

There was “genuine excitement” from Jordan Henderson as he spoke about Jude Bellingham to Adam Lallana, telling him: “Wait until you see this kid.”

It is seemingly an open secret that Bellingham is Liverpool’s No. 1 target as they plot to reshape their midfield in 2023.

The 19-year-old has been on the radar for over a decade, with the club failing in a £9,000 bid to sign him after a trial in 2012, and they have kept contact with his family since.

Off the field, there has been a growing bond between Bellingham and the Liverpool captain, with Henderson taking a keen interest in the youngster while on England duty.

Henderson is clearly a big fan of Bellingham, with Lallana detailing how he’d developed a “special interest” on his close friend’s recommendation.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 22: Jude Bellingham of England looks on during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between Czech Republic and England at Wembley Stadium on June 22, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill - UEFA)

“They had trained together with England and I remember Jordan saying to me: ‘Wait until you see this kid’,” Lallana wrote in his column for the Times.

“Don’t forget Jordan’s international career has overlapped with [Phil] Foden, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford and lots of others.

“There was a genuine sense of excitement in his voice.

“His reaction was based on Jude’s attitude and application in training, his willingness to listen.

“I can picture him being a sponge around someone like Hendo during the camp.”

Lallana also revealed a chance encounter with Bellingham and his brother, Jobe, in the airport in Paris, having all attended the Champions League final in May.

And the 34-year-old, who is now at Brighton, went on to praise the Dortmund midfielder’s ability on the pitch, admitting that he was the type of player who would “annoy” him.

“There have been lots of times, especially over the past 18 months, when I have imagined what it would be like to play against Jude Bellingham in midfield,” he added.

“I think he would annoy me – and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

“He would be like a rash, all over me constantly, which you don’t want as a midfielder.

“You want time. Jude does not give you that.”

Lallana continued: “In my entire career, I have never seen anyone with the same leadership skills at the same age. Nothing comes close.

“I simply don’t know how you have that at 19.”