Despite Mascherano being constantly linked with a move away from Anfield, and admitting himself that he wants to leave English football for personal reasons, Hodgson still gave the Argentine a place in his starting 11 for the entertaing 1-1 draw with Arsenal.
Hodgson's decision was clearly vindicated as Mascherano was one of the game's stand-out performers, producing a full blooded performance and providing the assist for David Ngog's goal, which looked like grabbing a win for the Reds until Jose Reina's late blunder own goal.
And Hodgson spoke in effusive tones of the performance put in by the Argentinean midfielder."It doesn't surprise me. I have had two weeks working with him and he is an outstanding player," said the former Fulham manager.
"He is a top-quality player, one of the best at his job in the world and he showed that once again today."
Mascherano's avowed desire to leave the club means Hodgson won't prevent the former West Ham midfielder from moving, but has reiterated that he will only sanction a move if a satisfactory offer is received.
Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, now in charge of European champions Inter Milan, has been continuously linked with Mascherano, but to date no official approach has been made. And Hodgson will not be shedding any tears if this situation remains the same when the transfer window shuts.
"Let's be frank, he is playing at Liverpool, which is a good club," he said.
"How many clubs can he move to which will be better or even at the same level?
"We are not looking at clubs for Javier Mascherano that go into the tens - we are looking at clubs in the single figures. As yet we have not received any offers.
"The fact is we want to keep him here and we will keep him here unless an offer comes in that is correct, ie commensurate with his value and one we feel would be wrong for us to turn down because we have said if that offer comes in we will accept it.
"At the moment it is not there, not on the horizon."