Jordan Henderson has been crowned Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year for the 2019/20 season.
The Liverpool captain saw off stiff competition from Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, as well as team-mates Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane, to claim the honour.
Liverpool’s dominance in the league was reflected in the voting as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson Becker also received votes, but it was Henderson – with more than a quarter of the votes – who was the clear winner.
Reflecting on his win, Henderson said: “I’d like to say how appreciative I am of the support of those who voted for me and the Football Writers’ Association in general.
“You only have to look at the past winners of it, a number of whom I’ve been blessed to play with here at Liverpool, like Stevie (Gerrard), Luis (Suarez) and Mo (Salah) to know how prestigious it is.
“But as grateful as I am I don’t feel like I can accept this on my own.
“I don’t feel like anything I’ve achieved this season or in fact during my whole career has been done on my own.
“I owe a lot to so many different people – but none more so than my current team-mates – who have just been incredible and deserve this every bit as much as I do.
“We’ve only achieved what we’ve achieved because every single member of our squad has been brilliant. And not just in matches. Not just in producing the moments that make the headlines and the back pages but every day in training.”
Henderson became the first Liverpool captain to lift the Premier League trophy, as they ended a 30-year wait for a top-flight title.
It has been a standout year for club and country for the 30-year-old, as Henderson captained Liverpool to the Champions League title in 2019, while the club also claimed the Club World Cup in December.
He was also named the England national team’s Player of the Year in January 2020.
Henderson has registered four goals and five assists in a league campaign in which Liverpool have only tasted defeat on three occasions and his instrumental contribution has been recognised by football writers across the country.
Ten other players received votes from FWA members including last year’s winner Raheem Sterling, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Sergio Aguero, Adama Traore, Danny Ings, Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Jonny Evans.
The Footballer of the Year trophy has been awarded since 1948 when Sir Stanley Matthews was its first recipient.
Klopp: ‘Exceptional’ Henderson fully deserves award
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Henderson deserves the individual accolade after captaining the club to their first league title in 30 years.
“The question always for footballers is what makes you the player you are? Is it the talent or the attitude? The answer is probably a mix and Hendo is probably the perfect answer for that,” said Klopp.
“He was always a really skilled boy. I saw videos of him when he was young, I think (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain found them somewhere and shared them with all of us. He was already an exceptional player.
“But then at the highest level you have to be ready to fight every day and that is what he did. With all the things that people said about him in the past, before I came, I don’t know what it was exactly… but he made his way and it is absolutely deserved.
“Yes there are other players that have an exceptional season, 100 per cent, but if you want to have a guy who really fought his way through… it is absolutely deserved.
“One of the best players in the league and this year everybody acknowledged that. I am really happy about that, it is so well deserved. I am really happy for him and proud of him because he is an exceptional person.”
Sky Sports’ Nick Wright…
At 30, having added a Premier League title to the Champions League trophy he lifted in June, he is emerging as one of the most decorated captains in Liverpool’s recent history. Jordan Henderson, more than any other player, has been the driving force behind their success.
Henderson is now FWA Footballer of the Year and his importance to Liverpool is universally acknowledged. But before all this, he had to withstand years of near-relentless criticism.
Henderson has been doubted and disparaged like few others. His move to Liverpool in 2011 was met with mockery. He was not up to it, they said. Overpriced and not good enough for England either. In his 2013 autobiography, Sir Alex Ferguson even questioned his running style.
There were plenty who doubted he would ever achieve that status. Plenty who would have scoffed at the very thought of it. But Jordan Henderson was not one of them.
This content was originally published here.