Remembering the Liverpool Lineup on Jordan Henderson's Debut in 2011

Jordan Henderson
Jordan Henderson signed for Liverpool in 2011 | Clint Hughes/Getty Images

It's nine years to the day since Jordan Henderson joined Liverpool for somewhere around £16m.

The story is well-known. He arrived as part of an expensive influx of players, during FSG's first summer transfer window as club owners.

Then director of football at Anfield Damian Comolli, undeterred by Henderson's unusual gait which famously put off Sir Alex Ferguson at Man Utd, later claimed to be have been blown away by the 20-year-old's fitness data at Sunderland - describing it as 'out of this world'.

A failed off-loading to Fulham, several years of incredibly hard work and a Champions League title later, Comolli has been vindicated in his assessment of the young midfielder (though the same can't be said for many other signings around the same time).

Here's a look back at the current Liverpool captain's Premier League debut for the Reds against his old club Sunderland (13/08/2011) and what happened to the rest of the starting XI that day.

GK: Pepe Reina

Jose Reina
Pepe Reina joined Liverpool from Villarreal in 2005 | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Reina continued as Liverpool's first-choice keeper until the summer of 2013 when he was replaced by another signing from Sunderland, Simon Mignolet.

Though a success as a Liverpool player, making close to 400 appearances for the club in total over seven years and winning the FA Cup in 2006, a series of errors towards the end of his time at Anfield hastened the need for change.

At 37, the Spaniard is now back in the Premier League with Aston Villa.

RB: Jon Flanagan

John Flanagan, Ji Dong-Won
Jon Flanagan left Liverpool permanently in 2018 | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Tipped for big things when he started to break through in the early years of the decade, homegrown Flanagan was hailed by Cafu as his 'successor' (really) and even captained the Reds in a Premier League game as recently as 2016.

However, a serious knee injury stunted his development, while domestic assault charges and the rise of Trent Alexander-Arnold put paid to any lingering hopes of a Liverpool career revival.

At 26, he can now be found at Steven Gerrard's Rangers.

LB: Jose Enrique

Arriving the same summer as Henderson (in a £5m deal from Newcastle) Enrique was initially seen as solid solution to a problem left-back position, playing 43 times in his first season at Liverpool.

What went wrong? Injuries.

Enrique featured just 21 times in three seasons between 2013 and 2016, as he struggled to overcome chronic knee issues, retiring a year later.

In April 2019, he revealed that he had received the all-clear after having surgery to remove a brain tumour.

CB: Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher
Jamie Carragher is second on Liverpool's all-time appearance list | Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Little need be said about club-legend Carragher who captained Liverpool on Henderson's debut.

He finished his Reds career in 2013 with 737 appearances for his only club and is now a popular Sky Sports pundit.

CB: Daniel Agger

Daniel Agger
Daniel Agger in action for Liverpool in a legends game in 2018 | Lampson Yip - Clicks Images/Getty Images

Yet another Liverpool defender whose career was cursed by injury. Agger made over 200 Liverpool appearances in total but missed large chunks of several seasons with foot/knee/back/foot again issues.

The Dane left Liverpool in 2014 for boyhood club Brondby, allegedly turning down the advances of Barcelona to do so, admitting he could no longer handle the physical demands of a top league.

Retiring at just 31, Agger remains a fan favourite at Anfield and famously has YNWA tattooed across his knuckles.

RM: Jordan Henderson

Shunted out on the right for his debut, Henderson played all but one game in his first Premier League season at Liverpool but famously wasn't really rated by incoming manager Brendan Rodgers, who was willing to sacrifice the high-energy midfielder for the pursuit of Fulham's Clint Dempsey.

It's a sentence that makes you wince now.

LM: Stewart Downing

Stewart Downing
Stewart Downing in action for Liverpool | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The other big-money transfer of the 2011 summer window. Then 26, Downing was in his prime and had enjoyed his best season yet at Aston Villa, scoring seven times for Martin O'Neill's exciting young side.

The £20m former Boro star was meant to be the man to lay on crosses for the previous January's big purchase Andy Carroll to nod home but it didn't really work like that, becoming something of a poster child for overpaying for not good enough British players.

He lasted two seasons, was occasionally shunted out to left back and departed for West Ham in 2014.

CM: Lucas Leiva

Stephane Sessegnon, Leiva Lucas
Lucas in action for Liverpool against Sunderland | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Another like Henderson who overcame early criticism to earn respect at Anfield, Lucas ended his Liverpool tenure in the summer of 2017 with close to 350 first-team appearances.

Though he won the Reds' Player of the Year in 2011, Lucas' only piece of team silverware on Merseyside was the 2012 League Cup, with his decade at Liverpool coinciding with a particularly barren spell for the club.

At 33, these days he can be found at Serie A challengers Lazio.

CM: Charlie Adam

Charlie Adam
Charlie Adam cost Liverpool £6.75m in the summer of 2011 | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

A PFA Player of the Year nominee in 2011, after excelling with Blackpool, a £6.75m transfer seemed relatively risk free for Liverpool. Sir Alex Ferguson had even commented that Adam's free-kicks were worth £10m alone.

However, despite assisting Luis Suarez for the opener against Sunderland on his debut, Adam failed to show that his season with Blackpool was any more than a flash in the pan.

He left for Stoke in 2013, where he initially enjoyed something of a career revival - the high point coming as he scored a 65-yard 'once in a lifetime' wonder goal against Chelsea.

Adam also scored in the famous 6-1 win over Liverpool on Gerrard's farewell game for the Reds.

ST: Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll
Andy Carroll became the most expensive British player of all time when he joined Liverpool | Michael Regan/Getty Images

The most-expensive British footballer when he joined Liverpool for £35m in deadline day of January 2011, Carroll later admitted he never wanted to leave Newcastle.

Despite perpetual fitness concerns and his limitations with the ball at his feet, there was a lingering hope that Carroll would come good and prove to be the unplayable 'Plan B' option for both Liverpool and England.

That never happened - despite flashes of his undeniable aerial ability (see the FA Cup semi final against Everton) - and he was sold to West Ham in 2013 for around half of Liverpool's original outlay.

Though Carroll is just a year and a few months older than Henderson, the two rising stars from the north east have seen their careers go in wildly different directions since their eyebrow-raising arrivals at Anfield.

ST: Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez celebrates scoring against Sunderland | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Though already a promising talent, Suarez didn't really bang at Liverpool until the season after (only scoring 11 in 31 in 2011/12).

He scored and blazed a penalty into the stands during the Anfield draw against Sunderland, after being rushed back from a summer break in which he had won the Copa America with Uruguay.

A European Golden Shoe winner in 2014 and 2016, Suarez has won four La Liga titles and a Champions League since leaving Liverpool for Barcelona.

At 33, and despite Barcelona's best efforts to find a replacement, Suarez remains one of the world's best number nines.

Substitues: Alexander Doni, Raul Meireles, Dirk Kuyt, Jay Spearing, David Ngog, Martin Kelly, Jack Robinson