Opinion: Michael Edwards must make classy £27million maestro Jordan Henderson’s heir

Liverpool are planning to replace Georginio Wijnaldum this summer but if they’re considering long-term Jordan Henderson successors, Kalvin Phillips should be the first name on the list.

So far, the Leeds United star is yet to be linked with a move to Anfield by a reliable source but the Reds would be making a major mistake not exploring the prospect of signing him in the future.

Transfermarkt values Phillips at £27million which would be a great price for Liverpool to buy him at but given he has three years left on his contract and the inevitable England premium, he’d probably cost closer to £40million.

He’s 25 so he’s about to enter his prime and with Jordan Henderson now 31, the club needs to begin scouring the market for a replacement. The Sunderland-born skipper did not start life at Liverpool in the manner he is ending it and he very almost left Liverpool for Fulham.

Supporters weren’t sold on his place in the team but now, when fit, he is the first name on the team sheet due to his leadership qualities but also his footballing ability. He’s certainly not the flashiest player but his ball recovery is fantastic and his passing is incredibly accurate.

He should leave the crossing to Trent though.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27: Jordan Henderson of Liverpool (L) celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on October 27, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 27: Jordan Henderson of Liverpool (L) celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on October 27, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

It’s not exactly a trait that guarantees you a starting role but Henderson’s passion is a key reason for his rise to prominence at Liverpool.

He loves the club and is willing to run himself into the ground for the team’s benefit.

His quality is mostly appreciated by those connected directly with the club but winning the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year for the 2019-20 Premier League season showed that he is appreciated in England.

Why is Kalvin Phillips the ideal Henderson replacement?

The Leeds United star has received widespread appreciation for his performances this term and he thrives in a deep playmaker role where his expansive passing is most effective but as he proved for England versus Croatia, he is just as good in an advanced role.

Phillips assisted Raheem Sterling for the winner at Wembley and naturally, his stock within England has skyrocketed but the truth is that he has been plugging away for Leeds all season at a very high level.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road on October 19, 2020 in Leeds, United Kingdom.
LEEDS, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 19: Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road on October 19, 2020 in Leeds, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

While he’s got the technique and football IQ of a modern footballer, Phillips has the robust style of a midfielder from the 90s which explains why Steven Gerrard is one of the players he wishes he could play with.

“It is hard to say [which former England player I’d like to bring back], some of the players I have watched over the years… I would love to play in midfield with [Steven] Gerrard,” the Leeds star said, via Vital Football.

“I would love to play in midfield with Paul Gascoigne [too] – I think I would have Gerrard or Gascoigne.”

Gerrard could help Liverpool sign Phillips

Liverpool could use Stevie G’s help in convincing the Leeds star to move to Anfield just as he used to do when Brendan Rodgers was at the club but given the pull Jurgen Klopp has and his side’s recent success, the Reds won’t need their former captain’s assistance.

Under the German, Liverpool have won the Premier League and the Champions League and I am sure Phillips would be happy to move to Merseyside if approached.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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