Former Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli says Jordan Henderson’s response to being humiliated by Newcastle fans prompted his arrival at Anfield.
The England international has become an integral figure at the Premier League heavyweights.
He was snapped up in 2011 for £16.75m having impressed at Sunderland, his boyhood club.
Henderson’s transfer fee at the time raised eyebrows after he’d only played two full Premier League seasons with the Black Cats.
But he’s proved the doubters wrong and is now club captain with over 300 Liverpool appearances to his name.
Comolli says it was the 29-year-old’s never-say-die attitude that encouraged Anfield bean counters to push the boat out.
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“All the boxes were ticked very easily,” he told The Athletic .
“The funny side of this story is that I had a budget of £15 million. I couldn’t go over that.
“It was very difficult for Kenny [Daglish] and I to get £15 million from the owners for Jordan.
“Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn wanted a lot more than £15 million.
“He said I didn’t realise how good he was, his character and personality.
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“He said the last time they played a derby against Newcastle, towards the end of the game Jordan took a free-kick and the ball flew into the stands and he got a lot of stick from the Newcastle fans.
“He said the following week Jordan took 300 free-kicks in training because he was so mad with himself.
“I put the phone down and thought if that’s the type of personality he is then we should do everything we possibly can to get him.
“I went up to £16.75 million to the great displeasure of the owners who absolutely slaughtered me on the phone.
“I called Kenny and said: ‘You need to help me on this one.’
"He said: ‘It’s a great deal, I’ll tell them you did a great deal.’”
Henderson already has a Champions League win to his name. The experienced ace also now looks set to bag a Premier League title.
Liverpool are a staggering 22 points ahead of Manchester City as we get towards the business end of the campaign.
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