Henderson: It would be 'amazing' if Bellingham joins Liverpool

By Sports Desk March 28, 2023

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson says it would be "amazing" if Jude Bellingham joins him at Anfield, but added the teenager must choose the club that is best for him.

Bellingham has become one of the hottest prospects in football during his time at Borussia Dortmund, as well as having an impressive World Cup alongside Henderson with England last year.

The 19-year-old midfielder has been linked with Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid among others, though recent reports suggested the Reds may struggle to finance a deal should the latter two start a bidding war, with Bellingham expected to demand a fee in excess of £100million (€114m).

Henderson has been as impressed as anyone by Bellingham, and though he hopes to be able to link up with him at club level as well as with England, said the youngster must "think about himself".

"I just want him to be the best player he can be – of course, if it ended up being Liverpool that would be amazing," he said. "But it's got to be right for him, and it's going to be every club you can think of that will want him.

"He has to think about himself and make sure he makes the right decision for his career. But there's going to be one lucky club that will end up getting him, whether that is now or in a year or two it will be a lucky club."

Bellingham has 10 goals and six assists in 34 games for Dortmund this season, and Henderson detailed what it is about the former Birmingham City player that makes him stand out.

"His potential is through the roof, really," Henderson added. "He can be as good as he wants to be – but he's got the right mentality, which is the most important thing.

"He is a really special player and I can't believe his age and his mentality, how he applies himself to training and the games, everything. I've never seen it before, so I'm pretty confident that he'll be a pretty good player for many years to come.

"Honestly, I can't believe his age, how mature he plays, how mature he is off the pitch, in the gym, training, everything, recovery day after the game. He is just dedicated to football.

"He's a special player, but I've said it before we just need to be careful not to apply too much pressure on him but let him play football. When you let him play football you can see what he does for Dortmund, you can see what he does here for England.

"Every time he puts on an England shirt he grows and is getting better and better all the time. Of course there are things he can improve on and get better at – he's only 19 – but the platform and the basis he has got he can go as high as he wants to."

Related items

  • Meulensteen backs Slot success at Liverpool as Klopp comparisons evident Meulensteen backs Slot success at Liverpool as Klopp comparisons evident

    Liverpool will not see many differences between Jurgen Klopp and incoming manager Arne Slot, though the Dutchman must learn to cope with the added pressure at Anfield.

    That was the message from Australia coach and former Manchester United assistant Rene Meulensteen, who expects fellow countryman Slot to succeed on Merseyside.

    Slot leaves the Netherlands after three highly successful seasons with Feyenoord, during which he led them to the league title in 2023 and was named Eredivisie Manager of the Year on two occasions.

    That record has Meulensteen expecting further success for the former Feyenoord boss.

    Meulensteen, speaking on behalf of William Hill Vegas, told Stats Perform: "There was a lot of speculation about different names being touted with [Xabi] Alonso and Rubin Amorim, but then when Arne Slot's name came up, I didn't necessarily think that it was a bad choice and a bad decision.

    "I like him. I rate him as a coach and as a person. I think he's got a likeability about him, he's a good communicator, he plays a brand of football that is very much in line with what Klopp has done over the last few years.

    "You won't see many differences there, he might tweak one or two things, but it will still be high press, high energy, dynamic football. 

    "In my opinion, I think it's always the proof is in the pudding, but I think it's not a bad choice at all for Liverpool."

    Liverpool managed 82 points in the 2023-24 Premier League, finishing nine behind Manchester City and seven adrift of second-placed Arsenal.

    The Dutchman will officially take charge from next Saturday, subject to receiving a work permit, and Meulensteen believes it will be a step up for Slot.

    "Liverpool are a global brand, it's a big club, it brings different expectations and winning the Premier League is the hardest thing to do," he added. 

    "The ambitions will be there for Liverpool. Same with the Champions League. So the difference between that step from Feyenoord to Liverpool is really in terms of the expectations, which brings a different kind of pressure.

    "You need to be able to handle that, clubs like Liverpool, Man United, Arsenal, City, Chelsea, you want to be successful, but at the same time play in an attractive style of football.

    "It's a difficult kind of combination, and obviously he's going from the Eredivisie, the Dutch league, to the Premier League.

    "That will be his biggest step up because that is where he's going to be confronted with every week.

    "If he's clever, he has to bring somebody in his staff along that knows the Premier League, that understands the Premier League."

    Rene Meulensteen was speaking on behalf of William Hill Vegas: https://vegas.williamhill.com 

  • Martin 'overwhelmed' after guiding Saints back into Premier League Martin 'overwhelmed' after guiding Saints back into Premier League

    Russell Martin admitted he was "overwhelmed by the love and support" from Southampton, after guiding the Saints back into the Premier League.

    Martin's side sealed their return to the top flight at the first attempt, with Adam Armstrong's strike enough to seal a 1-0 victory over Leeds United in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

    The former Swansea City boss, who replaced Ruben Selles at St Mary's last June, secured his first promotion as a manager, having also done so five times as a player.

    And Martin fought back tears as he reflected on his achievement.

    "I feel really emotional, I feel overwhelmed by the love and support I've had over the past nine or 10 months - especially in the tougher times," he told Sky Sports. "The team have been so brave, and I'm really proud of them.

    "I've enjoyed watching the team grow, and watching the players grow. I absolutely love that group of players. I'm so pleased for them because what we've asked them to do is not easy."

    Meanwhile, Southampton skipper Jack Stephens paid tribute to his team-mates, who gave him his "best feeling in football".

    "I'm so proud to be captain of this club. I'm so proud of the boys today, I think they've been unbelievable," the defender told Sky Sports. "I think we probably didn't play our best game today, but we showed a different side.

    "A few people have doubted us over this season. Can we defend? Can we dig in? I think we really showed that today. The feeling I've got now is the best feeling I've ever had in football. Honestly, I'm just so emotional."

    Matchwinner Armstrong added: "I don't know what to say. It's what we've been working for all year, we know how good the Championship has been this year.

    "What a way to go up! I saw the space in behind [for the goal] and I knew if I put it across goal it was going to go in, so it was a nice one.

    "It means everything. The gaffer and his staff came in in pre-season and put a marker down of what they wanted to see, and look at this. This is why we're footballers, we want to be involved in the biggest games, what a way to win."

  • Leeds United 0-1 Southampton: Armstrong sends Saints marching back into Premier League Leeds United 0-1 Southampton: Armstrong sends Saints marching back into Premier League

    Southampton secured an immediate return to the Premier League after Adam Armstrong was the hero in a 1-0 victory over Leeds United in the Championship play-off final.

    Saints' top scorer Armstrong provided the decisive first-half strike at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, with his 24th league goal of the season sending Russell Martin’s side straight back into England's top division.

    The pair had scored a combined 197 goals this campaign, but just the one finish was enough to settle what was only the third second-tier play-off final between two sides relegated the previous year.

    Southampton join Leicester City and Ipswich Town in winning top-flight promotion, while Leeds – who hit the crossbar through Daniel James late on – must prepare for at least another campaign in the Championship.

    Daniel Farke's team settled the quicker of the two sides, who were separated by just three points during the regular season, but with little success in front of goal.

    Archie Gray – the youngest Leeds player to appear at Wembley – drilled just wide early on, while Wilfried Gnonto shot straight at Alex McCarthy.

    However, Southampton struck the all-important opener after 24 minutes, somewhat against the run of play.

    Armstrong beat the offside trap after Ethan Ampadu's mindless charge out from the back, latching onto Will Smallbone’s throughball before neatly slotting past Illan Meslier.

    A shoulder injury forced a distraught David Brooks off soon after but the Saints went close to doubling their lead just before the break as Meslier parried away Armstrong’s drive.

    Crysencio Summerville curled just wide from the edge of the box within four minutes of the restart as Leeds sought an equaliser.

    Substitute James rattled the crossbar with a right-footed effort six minutes from time and was again denied by McCarthy, as Southampton held on to seal their return back to the big time.

    One Armstrong finish, one giant step for Saints

    Southampton were appearing in their first-ever play-off final, and they had lost on eight of their 10 previous visits to Wembley, including each of the last five.

    However, the Saints stopped the rot with a little help from a promotion expert – boss Martin achieved five of them as a player, and this was his third to the top flight overall.

    Armstrong's cool finish proved the difference; his 24 goals this term is the most by a Southampton player in a single season since Rickie Lambert struck 27 in 2011-12 – their last promotion-winning campaign.

    It was also the Saints' 100th – and most important – goal of the season; their first time reaching triple figures since the 2009-10 season under Alan Pardew.

    More play-off pain for Leeds

    Leeds have now appeared in the English Football League play-offs on six occasions, failing to secure promotion in each of those instances.

    The omens did not look good when they fell behind considering not since Cardiff City in 2010 has a team failed to get promoted after opening the scoring in a Championship play-off final.

    It is just over 16 years since their third play-off final disappointment against Doncaster Rovers in League One (May 25, 2008), with Leeds now playing the most such matches without ever gaining promotion.

    Farke also missed the opportunity to become the third manager – after Steve Bruce (four) and Neil Warnock (three) – to win three Premier League promotions, following his Championship-winning campaigns of 2018-19 and 2020-21 with Norwich City.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.