After impressing at World Cup 2018 with a string of dominant performances, the former Black Cats youngster was recently rewarded with a new five-year deal at Liverpool to secure his status as one of the Premier League's best central midfield generals.
Whilst many of us were confident that the Tyne and Wear lad would go onto bigger and better things after leaving the Stadium of Light, few could have predicted that he would play such a pivotal role for England given how hard it's been to break into the national team's midfield in recent years. At 28, Henderson still has his best years ahead of him and is targeting more success with the national team, starting with the European Championships in two years time.
Henderson is confident that, despite England's impressive run in World Cup 2018 back in the summer, the team can still improve and build on the team spirit which undoubtedly contributed to the team reaching the semi-finals of the competition before bowing out to an impressive Croatian team led by Luka Modric. A quick scouring of the internet shows that Henderson isn't the only one confident of England's chances at the next major tournament - according to most international football betting, England are 8/1 to take home the Euro 2020 crown, which makes them joint fourth favourites at the moment with Belgium, with only Spain, Germany and France more fancied for success in two years time.
Source: Luka Modric via Facebook
Whilst things have never looked better for Henderson, Jack Rodwell's story is diametrically opposite to the Liverpool captain, despite the fact that both looked to be on the same career trajectory at one point or another. At 27, Rodwell is a year younger than Henderson but looked destined for similar success after completing a move to Manchester City from Everton back in the summer of 2012.
Many neutral onlookers believe that the move came too soon for Rodwell and it's also quite evident that Manchester City was the wrong club for the Southport-born midfielder owing to the fact that breaking into Mancini's starting eleven at the time was a nigh-on-impossible task.
Nevertheless, Rodwell was offered a lifeline when he was signed by the Black Cats in 2014 and on paper, it looked to be a good move for both the club and the player. After being accused by many Sunderland fans of "stealing" £70,000 a week for the best part of 4 years, the club cancelled Rodwell's contract in the summer and the midfielder recently signed a deal with Blackburn Rovers until the end of the season. So, where did it all go wrong for Rodwell?
To cut a long story short, Henderson and Rodwell are on the opposite ends of the footballing spectrum in terms of work rate and commitment. Henderson knew that his big money move to Liverpool was just the beginning, whereas, you could argue that Rodwell believed he'd made it once he got his transfer to Manchester City.
With Blackburn doing reasonably well in the Championship so far, Rodwell still has an opportunity to make something of his career and is certainly young enough to force his way back into the Premiership, whether that be with Rovers or another club. Despite the fact that it's difficult to criticise young players for getting starry eyed at the prospect of moving for big bucks, Rodwell has a lot of bad footballing karma to make up for after refusing to play for the Black Cats whilst picking up ludicrous sums of money and Blackburn could well be the midfielder's last chance for reprieve. Jordan Henderson on the other hand is living, breathing proof that there's no substitute for hard work, heart and commitment.