Liverpool have started the season on a flyer and while the plaudits have mounted up at the feet of Daniel Sturridge, the growing stature of Jordan Henderson at Anfield is becoming just as vital to their success.
Three 1-0 wins have catapulted Liverpool to the summit of the infant Premier League table, but they’ve actually pretty much carried on where they left off last season.
Only the champions Manchester United had better league form than Liverpool in the 2013 part of the 2012/13 season and the opening three wins of this campaign, now make it 11 consecutive unbeaten in the top-flight for the Reds.
This kind of commanding form adds significant weight to the argument Liverpool can finally break back into the top four this season, with Ladbrokes offering 5/4 on this quest.
Yes, there are many factors which have facilitated this marked improvement, not least the managerial skills of Brendan Rodgers, but one cog in the wheel which cannot be ignored is Henderson.
The much maligned midfielder endured such a torrid time after his ridiculously expensive move from Sunderland two summers ago, that Liverpool were ready to let him go for around a quarter of the £16m they paid for him 12 months ago.
Henderson has actually now been in Rodgers starting line-up for every one of those last 11 undefeated league games.
Where Joe Allen has floundered through injury and dips in form, the long-time England U21 skipper has began to grow in confidence and finally flourish in a red shirt as a result.
Henderson always had the energy and engine to operate in the centre of midfield, but was often criticised for playing within his shell and opting for the safe pass.
However, he’s now adding real quality and adventure to his buzzy performances, like his nutmeg and finish against Northampton in the Capital One Cup and while Liverpool are winning, it would take a brave man to drop him.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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