Jordan Henderson admits he was in “a very dark place” when Liverpool considered selling him to Fulham a little more than a year after he joined the club.
The Liverpool captain, who went on to lead the side to their first league title in 30 years last summer, signed from Sunderland in June 2011 for £20m.
However, 14 months after he made the switch, Liverpool contemplated selling him to Fulham in a swap deal with Clint Dempsey.
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Speaking to The Guardian ahead of the Reds’ trip to Southampton on Monday, live on Sky Sports, Henderson admits it was a particularly hard time but the experience made him a stronger person in the long run.
“That was a difficult moment I remember very clearly,” he said. “We were preparing for a (Europa League qualifying) game against Hearts at Anfield. We met as normal in the hotel and I got a knock on my door saying the manager wanted to speak to us. To be fair to Brendan Rodgers, it was really just a conversation. It was an opportunity (to leave for Fulham) I didn’t want and I didn’t like. I still felt I had an awful lot to give.
“But I was in a very dark place at that time. It made us a lot stronger and a lot wiser later on and, without that, you never know what could have happened.
“So I really cherish them moments because you need setbacks, you need adversity. You get back up, and it makes you stronger because you want to prove people wrong. Ever since that day I had something in me.
“I needed to prove to the manager I would get in his team eventually. I’d do absolutely everything to be in his team, this football club, and I’d prove them wrong. In the end, I did.”
How to follow
Southampton vs Liverpool will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 7pm on Monday; kick-off at 8pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Free highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
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At least 146 Premier League games will be shown live on Sky Sports in the 2020/21 season. The Premier League has further increased the number of televised games this season from 200 to 231, with over half of the extra fixtures set to be shown live on Sky Sports.
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