Sam Allardyce has hailed Jordan Henderson as ‘an elite midfielder’ after the Liverpool captain was voted England’s player of 2019.
The 29-year-old enjoyed a remarkable year as he skippered the Reds to wins in the Champions League, Club World Cup and European Super Cup.
And he could add the Premier League title to that list, at least, by the end of the current campaign with the Reds still unbeaten.
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Very honoured and humbled to be named BT England player of the year. Even more so considering just how strong this England set up is. Thank you to everyone who voted and congratulations to fellow winner @lucybronze
Henderson is one of Jurgen Klopp’s most trusted players and he has been central to Liverpool’s recent success, however his ability and influence continues to be questioned by supporters outside of Merseyside.
The result of the fan vote led to uproar on social media, with England supporters of rival clubs fuming Raheem Sterling should have won the gong.
Sterling helped Manchester City to a second straight Premier League title last season, as part of a historic domestic treble, and scored 25 goals in all competitions. He already had 20 goals in 30 appearances this term.
But former England boss Allardyce insists Henderson’s win was fully deserved following his transformation into a complete midfielder for Liverpool and the Three Lions.
“He’s done an unbelievable job in changing his game and becoming an elite midfield player,” Big Sam said on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
“He started as a right winger at Sunderland and carried on in that position for a while at Liverpool.
“Fans were saying they’d overspent on him, but I think his development not just as a footballer in that position but also as a man and as a leader – he’s a complete package now.
“His work rate is unquestionable, his ability to keep the ball, he moves it on as quickly as possible to keep attacks flowing, he can play it short and long, he breaks up attacks and he leads, he drives other players on.
“He’s a good leader and a captain.
“It’s nice to see they’ve picked a midfielder player rather than what we normally get, which is generally the centre forwards and the flair players, so it’s nice to see him win it.”