Date: 21st October 2019 at 7:30pm
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OPINION

Let’s be honest, Liverpool’s trip to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon could have gone a whole lot better than it did. 

Aside from two dropped points, their first of the campaign, the Reds also put in one of their least inspired creative performances in a long, long time.

On balance, they will probably be pleased to have come away with a draw, and one tied match is hardly cause for panic, but nonetheless, there will be a feeling of missed opportunity at Melwood today.

And one player who will be particularly disappointed with his outing is captain Jordan Henderson.

The England international created nothing for his side, registering no key passes, shots, or successful dribbles, as per Whoscored, and while he did manage three tackles and two interceptions, his performance had ex-Leeds United goalkeeper Paul Robinson questioning his work.

Speaking to Football Insider, the ex-stopper said: “He seems to play well for Liverpool but I’m still unsure of his performances for England as I don’t know where he fits in, whether he prefers to be defensive or attacking?

“I think he likes not having the defensive responsibility but he has not played well this year, I think he has been indifferent for both club and country.

“And I don’t think he played particularly well yesterday either.”

This is a pretty stinging criticism of Henderson, and one that will sound all too familiar.

The fact of the matter is that the 29-year-old is a fine player. You don’t get to play 55 times for your country and lift a Champions League for one of the most historic clubs in world football if you’re not.

But far too often, it is difficult to tell what he specialises in doing.

So far this season, he has averaged just 0.3 key passes and 0.3 successful dribbles in the Premier League, as per Whoscored, suggesting that he isn’t an out and out creative midfielder, but his total of 1.9 tackles and 0.9 interceptions per match is hardly awe-inspiring either.

Even his possession retention leaves a bit to be desired, with Henderson’s pass completion rate coming in at 78.8% in the league this term.

In short, he is something of a conundrum, and one that Jurgen Klopp needs to solve sooner rather than later.