LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 2, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates with captain Jordan Henderson after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Watford FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Why Jordan Henderson wasn’t involved in Jurgen Klopp tributes – “He wasn’t himself”

As Jurgen Klopp‘s long-time captain and one of his most prominent players, Jordan Henderson‘s absence from any tributes to the manager surprised many.

Henderson has featured more under Klopp than any other manager in his career, with 304 appearances for the German making him his fifth most-used player.

But after a controversial move to Saudi Arabia last summer and his subsequent switch to Ajax, the 33-year-old’s reputation in England has taken a major blow.

While current and former players took part in tributes to Klopp ahead of his departure from Liverpool on Sunday, Henderson was notable in his absence.

Speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, Jamie Carragher revealed he contacted his former team-mate over taking part in Sky Sports’ reflection on Klopp’s time at Anfield, but found he “wasn’t himself.”

“I spoke to Jordan two or three weeks ago on text, and it was about putting something together for Klopp, for Sky Sports – really good piece,” Carragher explained.

“And I could tell he wasn’t himself.

“People have made a big deal about when they’ve watched it, ‘why isn’t Jordan Henderson on it?’.

“It was sort of through me, and I could get the feeling that he was like ‘I’m not speaking to the press over here’.

“So I don’t know what the performances have been like, the results, I know it’s not been a great season for Ajax – that’s why they brought him in initially in January.

“I think there was an interview where a Dutch guy really put it on him, sort of said ‘your performance was really [bad]’.

“And I could just feel [he wasn’t himself] – and I didn’t push him too much on ‘can we organise this interview?’.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, October 13, 2023: England's captain Jordan Henderson leads his side out before an International Friendly match between England and Australia at Wembley Stadium. England won 1-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Henderson has undoubtedly dropped in the estimations of many supporters since his decision to leave Liverpool, which came about after talks with Klopp over his role in the season just gone.

That was compounded on Tuesday when he was left out of Gareth Southgate’s provisional squad for Euro 2024, effectively ending his career with England.

But the suggestion that he would not take part in tributes to Klopp due to his relationship with the media is still curious.

“He’s had a lot of stick over the last 12 months, and some people might think rightly so with the move to Saudi, gone to Ajax and whatever,” Carragher continued.

“I feel a little bit for Jordan Henderson, because I don’t think he deserves it.

“You know him, I know him personally. There’s a lot of great footballers – Jordan’s a great footballer – but there’s less great footballers who are proper men, proper lads. He, for me, is a proper lad.”