Roy Keane has praised Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson as he topped off his season by being named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year.
The midfielder beat out Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne to the accolade after lifting the Premier League trophy on Wednesday evening.
While there was some surprise at the choice, Manchester United legend Roy Keane has thrown his support behind Henderson saying he deserved the crown.
“It was close. Obviously Kevin De Bruyne is a brilliant player, fantastic, world-class, and I don’t think anyone would have disagreed had he won it”, Keane said on Sky Sports.
“But I think with Jordan, the fact that Liverpool won the Premier League title, that probably swayed it. I wouldn’t begrudge Jordan, Jordan has done really well the past few years, had his critics when he first went to Liverpool but has matured very, very well. He’s a huge player for Liverpool and he just about deserved it.”
Keane handed Henderson his senior professional debut while at Sunderland in 2008. Though Keane moved on the following year, the 30-year-old remained at the club for three years before his move to Merseyside.
The former Ireland international said that he was proud of Henderson’s progression while under him at Sunderland and has been pleased with his journey since.
🗣 "I'm not surprised we had a lot of good young players at Sunderland we always felt he was the one with the best attitude"
Roy Keane on managing & giving Jordan Henderson his debut at Sunderland pic.twitter.com/6NeQ9CPBeY
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 26, 2020
“I was fortunate to give him his debut, he was a really good kid and we knew he was going places. Every now and again, you have to shout at a player, it’s part of the game, plenty of managers done it to me.
“But Jordan was always a credit. He took a hold of his career, had a difficult time at Sunderland with the relegation, and has gone on to great things.
“I’m not surprised because we had a lot of good young players at Sunderland but he was the one with the best attitude and he’s certainly shown it over the last few years.”