Wayne Rooney suggests £20m Liverpool star could play ahead of 'brilliant' reported Anfield target at the World Cup
Wayne Rooney has suggested Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson could still have a big part to play for England at the World Cup.
Henderson has been named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for Qatar but there are not many pundits expecting him to start England’s opening game against Iran on Monday.
Jude Bellingham is the man getting a lot of the pre-tournament hype and of course he has been extensively linked with Liverpool.
Rooney told the Times that Bellingham may not start every game and said that Henderson could come into the fold at times.
Rooney on Henderson and Bellingham
On Bellingham, he said: WHe seems very level headed. I played against him for Derby against Birmingham in July 2020 when he had just turned 17.
“Pete Shuttleworth, my assistant at DC United, was at Birmingham. Their game-plan was for Jude to man-mark me. It was the one game we played with a back three under Phillip Cocu, so I played in a different position and that massively messed up their tactics.
“After I’d pass the ball, he’s coming in and leaving a foot in. It was brilliant — I loved it. I’ve watched a lot of his games and the first thing he does is that he works hard. That’s a mentality thing. I think he will be fine.
“He will not carry the same weight of expectation as a striker, who will be judged on how many they score. That said, we still need to be a bit careful with him.
“I’ve seen people say that he has to play every game. I still think someone like Jordan Henderson has a big part to play.”
Henderson fell below Kalvin Phillips in the pecking order at Euro 2020 but was introduced at times when games needed killing off.
He anchored England’s midfield at World Cup 2018, but that is not his best role, even though he is well capable of playing it.
It would raise eyebrows if the £20 million man started ahead of Bellingham in Qatar, but his experience and knowledge of winning the Premier League and Champions League could prove useful.
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