England national team manager Gareth Southgate has revealed his admiration for Jordan Henderson, explaining that the Liverpool midfielder “sets the standard for what we do”.
Henderson, who picked up his 50th England cap in the 5-1 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Montenegro during the last international break, captained Liverpool to UEFA Champions League glory last weekend.
He has become a key part of the England set-up and forms part of the leadership group alongside skipper Harry Kane and other senior members of the squad.
England will be in action in the UEFA Nations League finals this week, with their semifinal against the Netherlands set for Guimaraes, Portugal on Thursday night.
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“To have a player like Jordan really sets the standard for what we do,” Southgate told ESPN.
“How he prepares for training, how he prepares for matches and the way he lives his life in general – he doesn’t just do his role perfectly, he has a positive impact on others to do the same.
“You can’t have too many of those players as a manager. He has an incredible range of passing, he is intelligent in the way he presses the ball, which is a huge part of the way Liverpool play and he is an excellent crosser of the ball.
“Henderson is a responsible player: he is tactically aware when another player goes out of position, he covers across. It’s more than just his personal attributes and work-rate, his technical qualities are important.”
Southgate added, “He was very much in the frame to be England captain heading into the World Cup [in 2018], but as soon as the decision was made, he was the first to congratulate Harry Kane.
“He was immense with his leadership throughout the tournament despite not wearing the armband.
“He has such humility and really great qualities as a person, which makes him such a big part of what we do.”