England boss Gareth Southgate has hailed Champions League winner Jordan Henderson as the standard-bearer for his Three Lions side.
Henderson captained Liverpool to their sixth European Cup success as they beat Tottenham 2-0 in Madrid on Saturday night.
The former Sunderland midfielder picked up his 50th England cap in the 5-1 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Montenegro during the last international break.
He has become a key part of the England set-up and forms part of the leadership group alongside skipper Harry Kane and other senior members of the squad.
Henderson is likely to be involved in England’s quest to win the Nations League this week, starting with their semi-final against Holland in Guimaraes on Thursday night.
Southgate believes the 28-year-old has all the right traits to rub off on his international colleagues both on and off the pitch.
“To have a player like Jordan really sets the standard for what we do,” Southgate told ESPN FC.
“How he prepares for training, how he prepares for matches and the way he lives his life in general – he doesn’t just do his role perfectly, he has a positive impact on others to do the same.
“You can’t have too many of those players as a manager. He has an incredible range of passing, he is intelligent in the way he presses the ball, which is a huge part of the way Liverpool play and he is an excellent crosser of the ball.
“Henderson is a responsible player: he is tactically aware when another player goes out of position, he covers across. It’s more than just his personal attributes and work-rate, his technical qualities are important.”
While Kane was selected to skipper England at last year’s World Cup, Southgate praised the role played by Henderson as his side reached the semi-finals in Russia.
“He was very much in the frame to be England captain heading into the World Cup, but as soon as the decision was made, he was the first to congratulate Harry Kane,” he added.
“He was immense with his leadership throughout the tournament despite not wearing the armband.
“He has such humility and really great qualities as a person, which makes him such a big part of what we do.”
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