Jurgen Klopp not entertaining Jordan Henderson story – “Not our problem, never will be”

Jurgen Klopp is not eager to “make a Jordan Henderson story” after the Liverpool captain was singled out during his press conference on Friday after starting from the bench in the last three games.

Henderson has not started for Liverpool since the embarrassing 3-0 defeat at Brighton in January, instead making three successive appearances off the bench.

The skipper admitted earlier in the year that the World Cup “probably took a lot more out of me than I thought,” and that he hasn’t been at the level needed “to play for this team.”

The 32-year-old has played 81 games for the Reds since the start of last season and a further ten for England, a volume of matches that Klopp recognises can take its toll.

And asked about Henderson’s importance to the team and the value of his leadership in Friday’s press conference, Klopp did not want to entertain making one player the story.

“I don’t understand why we talk about one player, I mean it,” Klopp said. “Hendo, I hope everyone knows how much I respect him.

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 14, 2023: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson looks dejected as Brighton & Hove Albion score the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the Falmer Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Sorry, I don’t like to say it but it’s true, you [the media] are not able to deal with these kinds of things when I talk about one player you make it the subject.

“Hendo is not our problem, never was and never will be.

“When he is ready, in good shape and the rest, he played 98 percent of the games we had. Now he didn’t start for three games, came on and that’s the situation.

“He played all of these games because he’s a very, very, very important player for us. That’s the only reason for it, there is no other reason for it.

“So when he’s not playing then you miss that, that’s how it is. Easy as that. Yes, he is very important.”

With Thiago picking up a hip injury, Henderson will be in line to return to the XI against Everton on Monday.

When pressed on if his side misses the captain’s leadership when he doesn’t play, Klopp again stressed it does not and should not be down to one player to provide inspiration.

“If you miss something from Hendo, but all the rest would be there, we wouldn’t miss it as much,” Klopp explained.

“All the others are [inspirational figures], like Virgil van Dijk is when he is on his top level and we miss him like crazy. But not even Virgil played all the games sensationally well.

“I am overly happy that he’s coming back, so that’s why I think we don’t have to make a Jordan Henderson story in this situation.

“This is a team story and if you want a manager story [that’s okay], but nothing else. Not individual players or members of staff, this story doesn’t work.”