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Glen Johnson on Jordan Henderson exit rumours: 'I can’t really imagine him at another club'
Liverpool have already had to say goodbye to one of their key midfield men this summer, with Gini Wijnaldum opting to leave Anfield on a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, but now it looks as if their captain Jordan Henderson could also be heading towards the exit door as it’s been reported that the former Sunderland man is undergoing contractual issues of his very own.
BettingOdds.com have caught up with Henderson’s former teammate Glen Johnson to discuss the future of the Liverpool captain, potential incomings at Anfield and where Raphael Varane would rank amongst the Premier League’s best defenders once his move to Manchester United is confirmed.
Last week it was rumoured that Liverpool are at serious risk of losing Jordan Henderson either this summer or next as his contract expires in two years time. After seeing Gini Wijnaldum leave on a free this summer, can you seriously see Jordan playing for another Premier League club at this stage in his career or do you think he will opt for a move abroad?
“Knowing Hendo the way I do, he will be so loyal to Liverpool after all the success that they’ve had together, so I can’t really imagine him in another Premier League club’s shirt.
“He’s pretty much achieved all he can at Liverpool. Of course he’s still going to have the fire in his belly, but a move abroad could be potentially on the cards and I’m sure he will have plenty of options abroad if I’m being honest.”
If he was to move abroad, then which club would you like to see him join?
“Probably PSG. It would be nice to see him play with that calibre of players.
“Obviously the league isn’t like anything he’s used to, but it would be great to see him play with players who’ve won a lot in the game. It would be nice to see him amongst that circle.”
Jurgen Klopp has reportedly added West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen to his shortlist of attacking transfer options. Do you believe he would be a good fit for Liverpool?
“Personally I don’t think he’s the type of player that Liverpool need. He’s a good player, he’s proved a lot of people wrong and he’s stepped up in the Premier League but I don’t think he’s at Liverpool’s level.
“I think Liverpool have better players already so I’d be surprised to see them offload anyone to bring in Bowen.
“He’s had a good season and his career is going in the right direction and if he keeps improving then you never know what will happen. Right now though I don’t think he’s a good fit for Liverpool.”
Do you believe that Liverpool will be back to their best next season and competing on all fronts or do you believe they need investment in the transfer market if they’re going to do that?
“They do need investment because every team around them is doing that and they’re going to be improving. By Liverpool’s standard, last season was disappointing but they would have bitten their arm off to get into the Champions League.
“They need to get all their players back fit and then of course I expect them to compete, but next season will be so competitive as everyone around them is improving. They’re really going to have to bring their A game if they’re going to win the league next season.”
Your former manager Rafa Benitez has taken the reins at Everton. Considering the negativity that surrounded the appointment before it even came to fruition, do you believe that any backlash towards the managers will affect the performances of the players in the upcoming season? As you know him personally, do you believe he has what it takes to get the Everton fans on side?
“Rafa just loves football. I know everybody associates him with Liverpool but he will definitely win the Everton fans over.
“He’s a red, but he loves the city and the fans will be won over if they perform. They’ll quickly forget once they start winning football matches.”
“I don’t think Everton are too far away from becoming a very competitive side. The club’s going in the right direction, they’re spending big money, they’ve got some good players and they’ve got plans for a new stadium so if Rafa does what he normally does then I think they could be a force next season.”
Callum Hudson-Odoi is a player that could be heading towards the exit door at Chelsea if speculation is to be believed. Bayern Munich are rumoured to have come back in for him and do you believe that Chelsea could be tempted to sell him if an attractive offer was to come in? Do you believe he progressed last season at Chelsea?
“I think if they get the right offer for Callum Hudson-Odoi or Tammy Abraham this summer then they will sell them. Definitely.
“Regarding Callum, it’s just not clicking for him is it? He’s in and out the side and I don’t think the manager thinks that he can rely on him.
“He’s sensational when he wants to be but you can’t survive in the Premier League by performing when you want to. You need to perform week in, week out. I don’t think he has the type of mentality that you need to work under Thomas Tuchel.
“I think he will go on to have a fantastic career but he needs to find the right club to flourish.”
If you were West Ham United manager David Moyes, how crucial would it be for you to try and tie down Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard on a permanent deal this summer?
“Jesse’s career obviously stalled for a couple of years but it’s great to see him enjoying his football and it’s nice to see a manager take the reins off him.
“He’s enjoying his football and you can clearly see the lads love him as a person, which helps everyone play.
“I’m sure they’re trying but I think if they can get the deal done then I’d love them to sign him permanently and hopefully next season he’ll be just as important.”
Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Real Madrid centre-back Raphaël Varane. On paper, where would you rank a back four of Wan Bissaka, Varane, Maguire and Shaw amongst the Premier League’s best?
‘If you ranked Varane in the Premier League he would be one of the best centre-halves for sure. He’s been at the top for a long time, and he’s still young. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a great defender. He’s not good going forward or great on the ball, but he’s a fantastic defender. Luke Shaw, if he keeps fit, is, again, a fantastic player, though I don’t know whether he can do it for the whole season. Obviously he had an unbelievable season, and at the Euros he was brilliant, but I’m not sure he could perform like that for the whole season. Maguire has his ups and downs. But Varane is like a rock, he’s a proper player. He doesn’t really want to play football, he just defends and gives the closest player the ball, which is what I want to see.
“If that back four can perform, they’re going to be tough to beat, defensively.”
Would you have preferred Liverpool to have spent money on Raphaël Varane instead of Ibrahima Konaté this summer?
“Yes. Mainly because I haven’t seen Konaté play too much to be honest and don’t know too much about him.
“But if Konaté is as good or better than Varane I’d be surprised.”