Henderson warned Liverpool place is under threat despite being club captain

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Jordan Henderson Liverpool 2019-20
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Former Reds defender Stephen Warnock believes tactical tinkering by Jurgen Klopp could lead to the Anfield skipper being rotated out of the XI

Jordan Henderson may be club captain at Liverpool, and a Champions League-winning one at that, but Stephen Warnock feels his place in Jurgen Klopp’s strongest XI may be under threat.

Seeing his value and position called into question is nothing new for the 29-year-old midfielder.

Many would happily have moved him on amid initial struggles to make an impact at Anfield but, eight years after his arrival, Henderson has the captain's armband and over 300 appearances to his name.

He should expect to see plenty of minutes from this point, but Warnock wonders whether he could be rotated out following the return to full form and fitness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The former Arsenal man netted twice for the Reds in a 4-1 Champions League win over Genk on Wednesday to give manager Klopp plenty of food for thought.

With some big tests approaching for the Premier League leaders, former Liverpool defender Warnock has told BBC Sport: “It feels like there are midfield places up for grabs in this Liverpool side, more so than any other department. Klopp has to decide who best complements each other.

“In their next game, at home to Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday, who he picks might also depend on how he thinks Spurs will line up.

“If Tottenham play in a 3-5-2 shape then Klopp will want someone in midfield who can get between their lines to cause problems. You would think that someone would be Oxlade-Chamberlain - especially given the form he is in.

“I would expect [Georginio] Wijnaldum to come back into the team too and with Fabinho cemented in the side, that would mean no place for Liverpool's captain, Henderson.

“That would not be a message that Henderson is out of favour, though. Far from it.

“When you are part of a squad at a club like Liverpool or City, you have to understand that the team is being picked to win a specific game, and if you are left out it is nothing personal.

“All of Liverpool's midfielders are going to have a part to play in the next few weeks, especially if Klopp decides to rest some of them in certain games - but I would urge caution there.

“Liverpool's next game in Champions League Group E is at home to Genk on Tuesday 5 November, before they play champions Manchester City at Anfield five days later.

“There will be plenty of people who will want Klopp to put out a weakened team against the Belgians, but my mind-set would be not to take any chances.

“If I were a Liverpool player, I would want to go into the City game feeling sharp and I would not want a week off beforehand.

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“Klopp will know far more about their fatigue levels, however, and that is another area where he has got some big decisions to make.”

Henderson was an unused substitute against Genk, while Wijnaldum saw 16 minutes off the bench.

Fabinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita filled the midfield berths, with Klopp boasting considerable competition for places in that area of the field.