Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has revealed that he requested the role change which has seen him pushed into a more advanced midfield berth by Jurgen Klopp.
With the Reds in need of somebody to operate in a holding post over recent times, a versatile skipper was asked to step in.
Henderson has fared admirably on the whole when deployed in front of a back four, but feels more comfortable when given license to get on the ball and dictate proceedings.
Klopp has now given him the freedom to do that and said after seeing the 28-year-old deliver another impressive box-to-box showing against Porto in the Champions League: “Hendo’s a brilliant player, I’m really happy that he can show that again.
“He likes the position obviously. It was my fault that for one-and-a-half years he played as a No.6. Sorry for that! But we needed him there.”
Henderson has no complaints at having been asked to tweak his game, but was eager to see his manager make a change after proving his worth in Euro 2020 qualification action with England and seeing Fabinho settle into life at Anfield following a summer arrival in 2018.
“Me and the gaffer just had a conversation,” said a man who has been on Merseyside since 2011 and taken in over 300 appearances for Liverpool.
“Obviously he saw the England games. I felt good playing in that position. I felt more natural and it was something he said he would think about.
“I can do both positions and he sees I can do both. It’s basically what he wants and needs. I felt more comfortable and natural in that position for England, creating chances further up and doing what I enjoy doing. At the same time when I played No.6 I felt I’ve learned that position really well.
“I don’t think the manager had thought about it too much until I mentioned it to him… the manager might not have seen me in that position too much. It’s all about putting the team first, I know that, but at the same time I want to contribute as much as I can. I feel as though I can do that more in a position further forward.
“In the last couple of years there hasn’t really been a player like Fabinho in that role, so I’ve had to adapt to that role. I think I’ve done quite well. I think if you look at Fab, it’s quite natural to him, that’s his position and he’s so good at what you need to do in that position.
“I just thought that might give me a bit more license to get forward more. The manager wants me in both positions, which is good for me and for the team.”
Henderson and Liverpool are set to be back in action on Sunday when they take in a home date with Chelsea as part of an ongoing Premier League title challenge.