Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson says he was in a “dark place” when the Reds considered selling him to Fulham just over a year after his move to Anfield.
The midfielder had been one of the Fenway Group’s first major signings following their takeover. He moved from Sunderland to Liverpool for £20million in June 2011.
But 14 months later, Liverpool considered selling him to Fulham in a swap deal with Clint Dempsey.
That proved a real ‘sliding doors’ moment. Henderson has since thrived at Anfield and lifted the Champions League in 2019 and Premier League in 2020.
Reflecting on the time when he almost left the Reds, he told The Guardian: “That was a difficult moment I remember very clearly.
“We were preparing for a (Europa League qualifying) game against Hearts at Anfield.
“We met as normal in the hotel and I got a knock on my door saying the manager wanted to speak to us.
“To be fair to Brendan Rodgers, it was really just a conversation. It was an opportunity (to leave for Fulham) I didn’t want and I didn’t like. I still felt I had an awful lot to give.
“But I was in a very dark place at that time. It made us a lot stronger and a lot wiser later on and, without that, you never know what could have happened.
“So I really cherish them moments because you need setbacks, you need adversity. You get back up, and it makes you stronger because you want to prove people wrong. Ever since that day I had something in me.
“I needed to prove to the manager I would get in his team eventually. I’d do absolutely everything to be in his team, this football club, and I’d prove them wrong. In the end, I did.”
Henderson says Liverpool must dig deep
Liverpool are currently top of the table again but only on goal difference.
They’ll have the chance to pull three points clear of Manchester United by beating Southampton on Monday night.
Henderson says past experiences will help the Reds in their bid to retain the title.
He added: “The past few years we’ve proved how good we can be and now it’s about improving, working as hard as possible, wanting more and giving absolutely everything.
“We’re in a good position but the Premier League can change very quickly. But that hunger and desire will always be there for me and the team.”