Manchester United FC

Sir Alex Ferguson clarifies why he turned down chance to sign Jordan Henderson

Ali Rampling
Jan 16, 2021, 11:30 AM GMT
Ferguson has explained why he didn't sign Henderson
Ferguson has explained why he didn't sign Henderson | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images
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Sir Alex Ferguson has detailed why Manchester United opted not to sign Jordan Henderson from Sunderland in 2011, leaving the midfielder to instead join Liverpool in a £20m deal.

United were linked with Henderson after his maiden two seasons in the Premier League, where he was twice named the Black Cats young player of the year.

Henderson has been at the heart of Liverpool's success over the last two seasons
Henderson has been at the heart of Liverpool's success over the last two seasons | Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

However, the Red Devils chose not to sign the Sunderland academy product, with Ferguson explaining in his autobiography that Henderson's running style was a cause for concern as it could have resulted in injury problems further down the line.

After a slow start to life at Anfield, Henderson has proved his doubters wrong by blossoming into one of the most influential midfielders in the top flight, captaining Liverpool to the Champions League and Premier League title under Jurgen Klopp.

Speaking on Friday on 'A Team Talk With Legends' panel (as quoted by the Mirror), Ferguson revealed United were prepared to make a bid for the Sunderland man, but advice from the Red Devils' medical team ultimately prevented them from doing so.

"There was criticism from Brendan Rodgers about my assessment of Jordan," Ferguson said.

"The actual story was we were ready to make a bid for him at Sunderland. I spoke to Steve Bruce and he loved the guy. Our scouting/medical department said they weren’t happy with his running style. They said he could be the type to get injuries.

"I must say it was one of my bits of management to make sure the player is always available. If you sign a player and he is not available for you, it is a waste of time so that is the point I have to make about Jordan.

Ferguson admitted United were close to making a bid for Henderson
Ferguson admitted United were close to making a bid for Henderson | Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

"But we loved Jordan as a player. He has proved that now. All the stories I hear about him tell me that I missed out on a really good person."

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