Alex Ferguson wasn’t wrong about many things during his time in charge of Manchester United but his thoughts on Jordan Henderson may well fall into the category of rare bad calls from the legendary manager.
Upon the recommendation of former United defender Steve Bruce, Alex Ferguson sent scouts to assess the potential of Jordan Henderson while he was at Sunderland.
Bruce, then-Black Cats manager, urged Ferguson to take a chance on Henderson but United were concerned about the midfielder’s style of running and opted against the transfer due to concerns about career longevity.
“We looked at Jordan Henderson a lot and Steve Bruce was unfailingly enthusiastic about him,” Ferguson wrote in his 2013 autobiography.
“Against that we noticed that Henderson runs from his knees, with a straight back, while the modern footballer runs from his hips.
“We thought his gait might cause him problems later in his career.”
As it turns out, Henderson has only improved with age and won his first Premier League title after turning 30 in the summer.
The Liverpool captain has shone in a number of roles for the Reds and is widely considered one of the most underrated players in the Premier League.
And while Henderson is aware of Ferguson’s reason for not pursuing him, he was not offended by the comments.
“What was written in the book never bothered me,” Henderson told the Liverpool Echo.
“To be honest, I looked upon it as a compliment that I got a mention. The fact Alex Ferguson was watching me at some stage must have meant I was doing something right.
“I was never aware of any interest from United and I’m happy with how things worked out. I’m enjoying my football and we’re progressing well as a team.
“I never felt as if I had a point to prove really – except maybe to myself and to Liverpool Football Club in terms of improving as a player.”