Late today it was announced that Liverpool have acquired Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson, depending on final negotiations and medical. Part of the deal is David N'Gog going the other way, and he too has the formalities to deal with.
I have to admit, on first glance I don't know that I get this. While the reported asking price was 20 million, it is more likely around 12 with Ngog added. And Henderson is only 21, and English, and we know how the price of young English talent gets so far inflated. Still, this is a central midfielder, which was one position the Reds weren't exactly struggling in. Whose minutes is he going to take away? Spearing's? Meireles's? Certainly on Gerrard's? Have they given up on Shelvey already, which is what Henderson seems to be? Or are they going to splash eight digits on a player they're not going to throw out there immediately? I honestly have no idea.
I know some of Henderson's career has been shipped out to the right of midfield, but this is another spot he doesn't seem to fit. Liverpool could play a straight 4-4-2 with Henderson on the right, but again the numbers game doesn't add up. In the 4-2-2-2 that Dalgiish opted for a lot, the right sided slot behind the strikers would seem to be Gerrard's or Meireles's. A 4-2-3-1? Henderson isn't a true wide player. I'm afraid I'm stumped here.
As for Ngog leaving, I had already given up on him. He showed flashes, but not near enough consistency to think that he could one day be a constant threat. Apparently he's never seen a weight room because in the three years he's been at Liverpool he was knocked off the ball with a defender merely suggesting he was coming by. So no loss there.
Anyone want to help me here?