‘Prove they’re wrong!’: Stewart Downing reveals his advice to Jordan Henderson after Liverpool skipper confided in him about his reluctance to leave for Fulham in 2012 – as ex-Reds man compares ‘incredible’ Harvey Elliott with a young Raheem Sterling
- Stewart Downing has opened up a candid conversation with Jordan Henderson
- Henderson, 31, confided to Downing about a proposed move to Fulham in 2012
- The former Liverpool star told his team-mate to fight for his place at Anfield
- Henderson captains Liverpool to glory under Jurgen Klopp
- Downing, now 36, also praised Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliott
Stewart Downing has opened up a candid conversation with Jordan Henderson who has helped the Liverpool captain fight for his spot at Anfield, while the ex-Reds star compared the younger Harvey Elliott to Raheem Sterling.
The 31-year-old Liverpool captain endured a tough start in Merseyside after coming over as a youngster from Sunderland, with former boss Brendan Rodgers open to sack the poorly shooting midfielder.
A move to Fulham was at stake in 2012, with Cottagers star Clint Dempsey set to head north in place of the Englishman. However, Henderson waved off the West Londoners to try it out at Anfield.
Stewart Downing has opened up the advice he gave to Jordan Henderson in 2012
The Liverpool captain initially struggled to adapt at Anfield and was set to join Fulham . add
And Downing, who played alongside Henderson during his early days at the club, has revealed that the Reds skipper has asked his team-mate for advice on the proposed move to the capital.
“The transfer deadline was in a few days and there were rumors that Jordan would go there and Clint Dempsey would come the other way,” Downing told The Athletic. “Jordan asked me what I thought he should do.
‘I said, ‘Do you want to go?’ He said no.” He told me that one day he wanted to be able to say that he only played for Sunderland and Liverpool. He didn’t want to be someone who went to eight or nine clubs in his career.
However, Downing advised Henderson to stay in Liverpool and keep fighting for his place
The 31-year-old has gone on to win the Champions League and Premier League as captain
“I said to him, ‘Well, there’s your answer. Just say you want to stay and fight. The club can’t force you to go where you don’t want to go. So if you want to stay, stay.’ Prove Them Wrong”.
Henderson has become the star of Jurgen Klopp’s side, putting the club back on their feet to the pinnacle of English and European football. The Englishman took Liverpool’s first league title in 30 years last summer.
“I’m so glad he stayed,” Downing added. “He’s had a great career at Liverpool. He has been through a lot. It all started with a very difficult first few years. I’m sure that’s what made him the player he is today.”
Downing, now 36, is pushing his box at Championship side Blackburn Rovers, and the veteran winger praised Reds youngster Elliott, who played on loan at Ewood Park last season. Downing compared the 18-year-old to Raheem Sterling.
Downing also praised Liverpool star Harvey Elliott, who played at Blackburn last year
The 36-year-old compared the teenage talent (right) to former Reds star Raheem Sterling (left)
“I first saw Harvey when we played against Liverpool in a closed-door friendly at Anfield before the season resumed last June,” said Downing. ‘I couldn’t believe what I was watching.
“He was only 17, but so mature for his age. I remember Raheem at age 17. He had so much talent, but he didn’t have Harvey’s understanding of the game – his decision-making.
“Getting into the Liverpool team is a big question. He has to get rid of people like Mo Salah and Sadio Mane. He is a different type of player as he is not one who relies on speed and strength. He’s more of an assist maker.
“He certainly has the ability, confidence and strength to handle himself at the highest level. I would definitely use it. He’s a great option to have.”